Dáil Éireann - Volume 473 - 28 January, 1997
Written Answers. - Surveillance Equipment.
Mr. Collins Mr. Collins
37. Mr. Collins asked the Minister for Justice the consideration, if any, she has given to providing modern technological surveillance equipment at Mount Gabriel, Schull, County Cork in order to comprehensively monitor all sea-going craft entering and leaving all ports and inlets along the south west coastline; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2155/97]
Minister for Justice (Mrs. Owen) Nora Owen
Minister for Justice (Mrs. Owen): My colleague, the Minister for the Marine, informs me that the existing facility at Mount Gabriel operated by the Irish Aviation Authority is a secondary radar which identifies aircraft flying overhead from transponders carried on board. These are compulsory under international conventions. There is no requirement that ships or boats must carry such transponders. The range of radar appliances is limited over land and sea and one radar system, even a large radar system, based on Mount Gabriel would not cover the south-west of the country. Small vessels, especially those made of wood or fibreglass which are the materials mainly used, give very poor radar reflections and would be unlikely to be picked up on a radar screen.
The Garda authorities have not submitted any proposals to me in relation to the provision of new equipment at Mount Gabriel and I am informed that they do not at this time have any plans to acquire equipment for the purpose stated. The Deputy will, of course, be aware that a range of measures have been put in place involving the gardaí, the Customs Service and the Naval Service which have considerably enhanced the State's capacity to tackle drugs smuggling more efficiently.
Dáil Éireann 473 Written Answers. Surveillance Equipment.