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Monday 24 July 2017

'We'd be foolish not to review security here' - minister

Defence Minister Paul Kehoe
Defence Minister Paul Kehoe

Ireland is to conduct an immediate security review, with the emphasis on safety at major public events, after the Manchester bombing atrocity.

Defence Minister Paul Kehoe confirmed the review, as he stressed that Ireland's security assessment is that the country currently only faces a moderate threat from terrorism.

However, the Wexford TD stressed that it would be "very foolish" if Ireland did not carefully study the "savage and vile" Manchester attack to see if there are lessons to be learned by Irish security services.

Cabinet members will meet with Defence Forces chiefs and senior Garda officers to re-evaluate Ireland's current security status in the wake of the UK's worst terrorist attack since 2005.

"Security is kept under constant review here in Ireland, particularly with the Garda Commissioner and the Defence Forces, in conjunction with the Minister for Justice and myself," said Mr Kehoe.

"I was speaking to [Justice] Minister Frances Fitzgerald this morning specifically on this subject.

Constant

"I know that she will be speaking with the Garda Commissioner during the day but, as you are aware, the security assessment of the State is moderate and is being kept under constant review.

"There is ongoing training between members of An Garda Siochana and the Defence Forces as to how to deal with such challenges if something was to happen here in Ireland. This is kept under constant review.

"We have to look at what happened in Britain, of course.

"It would be very foolish if we didn't look at what happened in Britain and I know that minister Frances Fitzgerald will be in touch with her counterpart in the UK, as will the Garda Commissioner with her counterpart in the UK, to look at how this happened," he added.

Mr Kehoe said that, like everyone else, he was taken aback by the nature of the Manchester suicide bombing.

"I would like to send my own sympathies and sympathies of [the Irish] Government to the people of Manchester," he said.

"This was a savage and vile attack."

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