The majority of frontline garda detective units are receiving no tactical training in how to deal with terrorist attacks and are not equipped with the firepower to counter them.
Apart from highly-specialist units like the Emergency Response Unit (ERU) and Regional Support Units (RSUs), no armed detectives have received tactical training since 2008.
That is according to the GRA (Garda Representative Association), which represents more than 10,000 frontline members of the force.
GRA president Dermot O’Brien said that while Ireland might be on the periphery of Europe “things could also happen here”, he was concerned about the lack of tactical training given to both armed detectives and unarmed, uniformed officers.
The Uzi machinegun was taken away from all detective units in 2012 and the equally devastating German-made Heckler & Koch MP7 has only be given to one specialist unit.
Other detective units are only armed with pistols, which would be no match for heavily-armed terrorists or criminal gangs.
Mr O’Brien said the recent gangland shooting at the Regency Hotel in Dublin highlighted the issue of a need for tactical responses because the first gardaí on the scene were uniformed, unarmed officers.
He said no unarmed officers should have to face such a scenario and they and all members of the public should be kept at least 500 metres from such a scene until properly-armed units arrive.
Mr O’Brien will urge Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan to address these issues when she attends their annual conference in Killarney today.
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