Dáil Éireann - Volume 625 - 12 October, 2006

Written Answers. - National Emergency Plan.

Mr. Deenihan asked the Minister for Defence when the task force on emergency planning last met; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32265/06]

Mr. Cuffe asked the Minister for Defence when the interdepartmental working group on emergency planning and the task force on emergency planning last met; when they will next meet; the State’s response to the security alert in August 2006 involving an alleged plot to attack aircraft flying out of the UK; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32306/06]

  Mr. O’Dea:I propose to take Questions Nos. 25 and 56 together.

The Government Task Force on Emergency Planning and the Inter-Departmental Working Group meet on a regular basis. The last Task Force meeting was held on Tuesday 3rd October 2006. The Inter-Departmental Working Group (IDWG) last met on 20 September 2006. While dates have not been decided for the next Task Force or IDWG meetings, these are normally held every four to six weeks.

The State’s response to any security alert is primarily a matter for the Tánaiste & Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. While it would be inappropriate to comment on a particular security issue, I can reassure the Deputy that the Garda authorities maintain an up-to-date assessment of threats through analysis of intelligence gathered from domestic and international sources.

I can confirm that the Garda Síochána has developed excellent lines of communication and co-operation with police forces and security services in the European Union and further afield. The ongoing sharing of intelligence enables a rapid operational response to be put in place where circumstances so warrant. This includes monitoring of any alerts relating to aviation security, in consultation with the Department of Transport.