The Irish secret service is not pumping more money into a ‘shaken-not-stirred, martini-swigging lifestyle’, even though its budget will be raised by 25% next year.
The Government has raised the secret service allocation from €1m to €1.25m.
The work of the secret service is, well, secret. However, a few things are known about it. There are no flash cars or exotic junkets and no shadowing of crazed, would-be world-dominators.
Various garda and army units feed into the secret intelligent system, but their pay and equipment are already covered under the normal annual budgets provided by the departments of justice and defence.
The €1.25m ringfenced for secret service use next year is more likely to be spent on paying informers who can supply the authorities with information on major drug gangs and on international terrorism.
The State organisations likely to have access to the fund are the Garda Security and Intelligence Unit and its Special Detective Unit.
It is believed that gardaí are particularly anxious to recruit informants who are well-placed within organised crime, especially with a view to disrupting the activities of major drug gangs.
On the Defence Forces side, the fund could be dipped into by the Army’s G2 unit. More commonly known as the Defence Forces Directorate of Intelligence, backed in the field by the elite Army Ranger Wing, G2 deals with counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence. G2 is made up of intelligence-gathering operatives from the army, naval service, and air corps.