Written answers

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Northern Ireland

Photo of Patrick CostelloPatrick Costello (Dublin South Central, Green Party)
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132. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the provisions in view of recent violence and rioting in Northern Ireland that are being made by the Defence Forces to deal with potential paramilitary activity from loyalist paramilitaries. [56579/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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Primary responsibility for the internal security of the State rests with the Minister for Justice and An Garda Síochána. Accordingly, responsibility for the security aspect of border control rests with An Garda Síochána, while the Revenue Commissioners also have responsibilities relating to their particular mandate.

Among the roles assigned to the Defence Forces in the White Paper on Defence is the provision of Aid to the Civil Power (ATCP) which, in practice, means to provide assistance and support to An Garda Síochána when requested to do so. The Defence Forces also provide support to the Revenue Commissioners, again, when requested to do so.

There is ongoing close liaison between An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces regarding security matters and regular coordination and liaison meetings take place. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the detail of these security related meetings.

Military intelligence plays a key role in maintaining an awareness of threats to the State and to forces deployed at home and overseas. The Directorate of Intelligence is a constituent part of Defence Forces Headquarters and delivers threat assessments to the Minister for Defence, the Department of Defence as well as, through the Chief of Staff, to the National Security Committee. Liaison is also maintained between the Directorate and An Garda Síochána.

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