Questioning Minister for Defence regarding Shannon

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Minister Conveney questioned over continued use of Irish Defence Forces acting like private security guards for US Military, he doesn’t seem to have a problem with it, in much the same way as he doesn’t seem to have a problem with Irish Troops observing the activities of the Israeli government in bombing Syria, as Al Qaida settles into the Golan Heights…

To ask the Minister for Defence his views regarding the number of occasions and cost of Defence Forces personnel being involved in ATCP duties at Shannon in 2015.

DEPUTY CLARE DALY .

FOR ORAL ANSWER ON WEDNESDAY, 18TH FEBRUARY, 2015 .

REPLY
An Garda Síochána has the primary responsibility for law and order, including the protection of the internal security of the State. Among the roles assigned to the Defence Forces is the provision of Aid to the Civil Power (ATCP) which, in practice, means to assist An Garda Síochána when requested to do so.

The Gardaí have requested ATCP support from the Defence Forces at Shannon since 2003. Up to 12th February 2015 there has been 47 deployments at a cost of €24,116, which includes Security Duty Allowance, rations and fuel.

The basis for such requests are an operational matter for An Garda Síochána. Accordingly, decisions to seek support from the Defence Forces are a matter for An Garda Síochána.
Simon Coveney, T.D.
Minister for Defence

QUESTION N0: 22

To ask the Minister for Defence his views regarding the current status of the UNDOF mission in the Golan Heights; and if he is satisfied with the continued involvement of an Irish Defence Forces personnel in this operation..
DEPUTY CLARE DALY.

FOR ORAL ANSWER ON WEDNESDAY, 18TH FEBRUARY, 2015.

Ref No: 6886/15 Lottery: 17 Proof: 17

REPLY
At the request of the United Nations, following Government and Dáil Éireann approval, a contingent of the Permanent Defence Force has been deployed to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights in Syria since 2013.

The current Irish contingent, the 46th Infantry Group, is based in UNDOF Headquarters in Camp Ziouani. It operates in the role of a Quick Reaction Force, which is on standby to assist with on-going operations within the UNDOF Area of Responsibility. Eight (8) other Defence Forces personnel are also deployed in UNDOF Headquarters, including the Deputy Force Commander, Brigadier General Anthony Hanlon.

Following the significant events in August 2014 in the area of separation, there was a fundamental realignment of the UNDOF mission with a view to minimizing unacceptable risks to peacekeepers, while continuing to implement the mission’s mandate. Most UNDOF personnel are now deployed on the Israeli side of the area of separation. The UN provides regular updates on the mission to the Security Council in this regard. The presence of the UNDOF mission remains an important element in ensuring stability on the Golan Heights and in the Middle East region.

Participation in overseas missions is reviewed by the Government on an annual basis. On the 17th June 2014, the Government approved continued participation in the UNDOF mission for a period of twelve months up to June 2015. I intend to bring proposals to Government in due course for the continued participation by the Defence Forces in the mission beyond June 2015, subject to the renewal of the UN authority for the mission.

SIMON COVENEY, T.D.
MINISTER FOR DEFENCE

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