Security expert: Terror atrocity in Ireland a matter of ‘not if, but when’

A security expert who witnessed recent terrorist atrocities in Sri Lanka claims Ireland won’t be equipped to respond to similar attacks, which he believes will inevitably come to this country.

Eamon Dolan, a former Irish Naval Service chief petty officer, flew in from Sri Lanka to attend a protest march highlighting the crisis in the Defence Forces. He is a recruitment, training, and quality manager for maritime security company Alphard Maritime.

The attacks on Sri Lankan Christians by Islamic extremists on April 21 left 253 dead and dozens more critically injured.

Mr Dolan witnessed the response of the security forces, in what is considered a third world country, and provided the Irish Examiner with his chilling analysis of what could happen if similar extremist attacks took place here.

“Having been in Sri Lanka and witnessed the recent terrorism atrocities unfold where churches, hotels, and roadside bombs targeted mainly Christian communities, and having seen the unbelievably professional response of counter-terrorism units, I can tell you, that we in Ireland are targets for extremists.

“As a security expert, I can also tell you we’re not ready (in Ireland),” he said.

Our families are vulnerable, our State leaders are not prepared, and we have no effective response due to a decimated Defence Forces.

“Our reservists are also being depleted and it’s a question of when, not if, we are targeted,” he said.

Mr Dolan’s role is to train armed guards, who work in three and four-man teams, protecting merchant ships against attacks, primarily from Somali pirates who strike off the Horn of Africa and in the Indian Ocean.

His years of experience in the Naval Service, his current overseeing of anti-piracy missions, and recent witnessing of the chilling attacks in his adopted country, have all made him very worried about Ireland’s ability to prevent and combat a terrorist attack.

Mr Dolan was among more than 1,000 people who marched in Cork to highlight the manpower crisis within the Defence Forces, due mainly to poor pay and conditions.

He backed speakers who called on serving personnel and their families to use their election votes to highlight the decline of the Defence Forces.

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