Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Questions (248)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

251 Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if his Department has had any discussions with An Garda Síochána to examine the possibility of arming members of the force; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35538/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice and Equality)

While the traditional unarmed character of the Garda Síochána is one of its key strengths, there are, of course, situations where an armed capability is required.

Currently just over 3,500 members of the Garda Síochána, around 25% of the force, are authorised to carry firearms. These include members of the Emergency Response Unit, the Regional Support Units and all members of the detective branch.

The carrying of firearms by Garda personnel is an operational matter for the Garda Commissioner.