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Jewish community meets with gardai over security fears

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Garda: File photo

Garda: File photo

A still image form video shows an explosion lighting the front of a kosher supermarket as French police special forces launch their assault, where several people were taken hostage near the Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris January 9, 2015. Two brothers suspected of a bloody attack on the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo were killed when police stormed their hideout northeast of Paris on Friday, while a second siege at the supermarket ended with the deaths of four hostages

A still image form video shows an explosion lighting the front of a kosher supermarket as French police special forces launch their assault, where several people were taken hostage near the Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris January 9, 2015. Two brothers suspected of a bloody attack on the offices of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo were killed when police stormed their hideout northeast of Paris on Friday, while a second siege at the supermarket ended with the deaths of four hostages

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Garda: File photo

Members of the Jewish faith in Ireland are on alert following the terrorist attacks in Paris earlier this month and have met with gardai to make extra security arrangements.

The talks come as a result of a break-in at a secondary school in south Dublin, which has a high percentage of Jewish students.

Gardai confirmed last night that a high-level meeting took place last week between representatives of the Jewish community and senior gardai in response to the French attacks.

The meeting was arranged after a burglary at a secondary school in Rathgar, south Dublin, in which a number of laptops and other items were stolen.

Although the school is mixed-educational, it is attended largely by students of the Jewish community.

While gardai are satisfied that the burglary was not racially motivated, senior members of the Jewish faith became extremely concerned as the brutal events in Paris unfolded.

This led to an organised meeting between members of the Jewish community and senior garda officers.

respected

It is understood that the meeting was attended by Assistant commissioner John Twomey as well as a superintendent and a detective inspector.

Gardai gave the representatives of the highly-respected community security advice and the meeting is said to have been "constructive".

The meeting was held a week after reports emerged of gardai keeping a close eye on a group of young Muslim radicals who were meeting at a house in the capital.

Officers are now monitoring the school, synagogues and other areas in which members of the Jewish community visit but senior officers stress that this is "nothing new".

Gardai routinely keep watch over the synagogue in Terenure, Dublin west, in particular between Friday evening and Saturday during the Shabbat, when the place of worship would be most frequented.

Over the previous weekend up to four gardai monitored the synagogue during a celebration ceremony, although it has not been confirmed if the increase in patrol numbers was as a result of last week's meeting.

A spokesperson for An Garda Siochana said that the organisation would not comment on security issues "for operational reasons".

Similar meetings were held in cities across the UK in reaction of the French attacks.

Jewish communities in London and Manchester requested extra police patrols in fear of copycat attacks being carried out.

stressed

Civilian volunteers of the Shomrim security group stepped up patrols in their localities, but stressed that the increase in activity was only as a precaution and asked its residents to remain extra vigilant and calm.

Seventeen people died in Paris in three days of violence that began with the attack by two Islamist gunmen on the offices of Charlie Hebdo on January 7.

hnews@herald.ie


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