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Police in Republic of Ireland 'do not have capability to deal with terror threat'

Garda officers Image copyright PA
Image caption The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors has said officers should be provided with anti-ballistic vests

Police sergeants and inspectors in the Republic of Ireland have said that as first responders, they do not have the capability to deal with the threat from radical extremism and international terrorism.

The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) has said it receives information on severe weather alerts.

However, it is concerned members are not informed of terror threats.

It is hosting its annual conference in Westport.

RTÉ reports that the AGSI has called on Garda Commissioner Nóirín O'Sullivan to provide it with appropriate training to deal with the current terrorist threat level.

Its president Tim Galvin said some intelligence is sent out, but for the most part the vast majority of information is confined to specialist units.

'Disappointed'

The association also wants a review of the effectiveness of the amalgamation of garda districts and the closure of 95 stations.

It has also said gardaí should be provided with anti-ballistic vests rather than only stab-proof ones in the wake of incidents such as the Dublin weigh-in murder at the Regency Hotel in February.

The AGSI is disappointed by the decision of the Irish Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, not to attend the conference.

It has also said its members will march on the Irish parliament on the first day of the new government in protest over pay and conditions.

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