The Garda Commissioner says she hopes a new armed task force can be a deterant for criminal gangs.
The ASU was unveiled today – after being promised to deal with gangland crime in the wake of the Regency Airport shooting 10 months ago.
55 gardai make up the ASU which will be used to respond to critical incidents and in support of planned operations targeting gangland crime.
The unit has high powered vehicles with a range of equipment including breeching equipment, shields and defibrillators.
Gardaí themselves will be armed with submachine guns as well as non-lethal equipment like pepper spray.
Commissioner Noirin O'Sullivan says she hopes the unit will be effective in tackling crime: "What this allows us to do is to provide high visability patrols.
"It should provide a deterrant but there will always be people who are determined to carry out attacks and atrocities but what we have now is a tactical response capabilities that is armed and equipped to deal with those and I think it is important aswell, it is not just about lethal force, but the deescalation tactics and the less lethal capabilities that this unit brings."