Dáil Éireann - Volume 647 - 20 February, 2008

Written Answers. - Crime Prevention.

Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the plans his Department have to combat the growing dissident activity in the north-west, in view of yet another paramilitary style shooting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7147/08]

Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on whether the Garda presence in border towns is adequate, in view of the fact that a paramilitary organisation (details supplied) have publicly announced that they intend to undertake paramilitary activities in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7148/08]

Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his plans in relation to the policing of the north-west, in view of the recent interview (details supplied); the assurances he will give to the people of County Donegal, who are in close proximity to both Derry City and Strabane; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7149/08]

  Deputy Brian Lenihan: I propose to take Questions Nos. 314 to 316, inclusive, together.

The threat from dissident republican groups remains a high priority for my Department in terms of its ongoing review of both counter-terrorism and related legislation and the resource requirements of the Garda Síochána. At an operational level, the Garda Síochána carries out regular reviews of the threat assessment arising from the activities of these groups. All relevant events are factored into this threat assessment as a means of further developing its operational counter-terrorism strategies.

There is ongoing co-operation between the Garda Síochána and the law enforcement authorities in Northern Ireland, including the exchange of intelligence, to ensure appropriate measures are put in place to combat both the terrorist and criminal activities of these groups. I also understand that the Garda Síochána is engaging in high-visibility policing along the Border and that special intelligence-led operations are put in place, as appropriate.

The Garda authorities continue to review resource requirements for Garda Divisions along the Border, in accordance with policing demands and emerging and potential threats from dissident republican groups. I am informed that senior Garda management is satisfied that the current Garda presence along the Border is sufficient to meet existing demands. This situation is kept under continuous review.