Security meeting told Irish terror attack 'possible but unlikely'

Detailed preparations have been made for any such event

Security meeting told Irish terror attack 'possible but unlikely'

Members of the Garda ERU (Emergency Response Unit) stand by a garda checkpoint in Dublin | Image:

A top level security meeting has concluded that while a terrorist attack in Ireland is possible, it is unlikely.

It followed a meeting of ministers and senior officials, chaired by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, in the wake of the Manchester terrorist attack.

They reviewed the State's arrangements and level of preparedness in the event of an attack here.

The Government also says detailed preparations have been made for any such event.

The Department of Justice says: "Of its nature, much of this work cannot be disclosed publicly, but people can be assured that it goes on relentlessly.

"Of equal importance is the ongoing work ensure that people do not become alienated from our society and radicalised.

"Terrorism is caused not by particular religions or peoples, it is caused by hatred, and terrorists alone are responsible for their evil acts."

Among those at the meeting were Tánaiste Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, as well as the ministers for Housing, Health, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Defence and Communications.

The Garda Commissioner and the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces also attended.

Public to remain vigilant

The meeting was briefed on the threat assessment by security authorities, who indicated that they remain "in daily contact" with their counterparts in the UK, the EU and beyond.

The Department of Justice says: "While a terrorist attack here is possible it is unlikely and there is no specific information in relation to any threat to Ireland from international terrorism."

The meeting was told that this assessment will remain under continuous review.

Ministers were also briefed on the overall national emergency arrangements involving different agencies and how they would be used in the event of a terrorist attack or major incident.

The meeting was briefed on the role of the Health Service Executive (HSE), local authorities, aviation and transport authorities.

Ministers were told that regular "scenario exercises", involving all the agencies, continue to be held.

Garda authorities are working closely with event organisers to ensure appropriate safety and security measures are in place at events this summer.

They are asking the public to remain vigilant and to immediately report any issues.