herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Terror attack here 'possible but unlikely', says Fitzgerald

Frances Fitzgerald
Frances Fitzgerald

A Manchester-style terror attack in Ireland is possible but unlikely, according to Frances Fitzgerald.

The Tanaiste yesterday revealed that detailed plans have been prepared for dealing with an attack here.

She was speaking after Taoiseach Enda Kenny chaired a meeting of gardai, the Defence Forces and ministers to review the terrorism threat in the wake of Monday's Manchester bombing.

Briefed

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

It was noted that, while a terrorist attack here is possible, it is unlikely and there is no specific information in relation to any threat to Ireland.

Ms Fitzgerald said this assessment would be kept under "continuous review".

Ministers were briefed on the overall national emergency management arrangements involving the different State agencies and how these would operate in the event of a terrorist attack.

"Of its nature, much of this work cannot be disclosed publicly, but people can be assured that it goes on relentlessly," said Ms Fitzgerald.

"Of equal importance is the ongoing work to 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.

"As well as causing death and destruction, the aim of international terrorism is to change our way of life, through creating fear. We cannot allow that to happen.

"So, while all reasonable and practical steps are being taken to counteract any threat here, people must remain sensibly vigilant. We owe it to those who have suffered."