Monday 19 March 2018

'Abnormal times' call for extra vigilance - McGrath

Minister Finian McGrath Picture: Tom Burke
Minister Finian McGrath Picture: Tom Burke

Ryan Nugent

The Manchester terror attack has raised questions over the levels of security in this country at major events, Finian McGrath has claimed.

The minister told the Irish Independent that gardaí needed to be "extremely vigilant" over public safety in the wake of the attack at an Ariana Grande concert which left 22 people dead.

In the wake of the devastating suicide bombing at the Manchester Arena, troops have been deployed to the streets of British cities.

Mr McGrath said we needed to be conscious that Ireland was not immune to the threat of terrorism.

"I think that senior management at the gardaí have to be extremely vigilant in relation to public safety at public events," he added.

"We have to be very conscious that it's not just Manchester, it could happen in Ireland.

"It's not acceptable that within a matter of weeks of a major international incident happening that everything goes back to normal.

"We're living in abnormal times and we have to respond.

"Of course, we cannot let these people dictate how we run our lives or go to concerts or football matches, but at the same time, public safety has to be priority.

"I know going into concerts, searching bags and searching people can be a bit of a pain, and the same goes to football matches, but I think we just have to be public safety-conscious, not to overreact, and also to be very vigilant not to allow any sectarianism or anti-Muslim feelings to emerge.

"The guards have to do the job more effectively and more efficiently. I was at the U2 concert a year and a half ago - fantastic security. I went to Bob Dylan two weeks ago - security was very lax."

Meanwhile, Cork's Lord Mayor Des Cahill also said that the Manchester Arena tragedy had raised security issues across Europe.

"I don't want to alarm people, but it (global security) is a growing problem, and one that is very hard to predict," he said.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section