As I said, I propose to take Questions Nos. 38 and 39 together.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade has responsibility for the use of Shannon Airport by foreign military aircraft and for the granting of permission for overflights by foreign military aircraft. The Department of Justice and Equality and An Garda Síochána have primary responsibility for the internal security of the State.
Among the roles assigned to the Defence Forces in the White Paper on Defence is the provision of aid to the civil power which, in practice, means to assist An Garda Síochána when requested to do so. Since 5 February 2003, An Garda Síochána has requested support from the Defence Forces at Shannon Airport on occasion. Security assessments are carried out by An Garda Síochána which determines if Defence Forces assistance is required. There has been no alteration to these arrangements in 2017. For security reasons, it would not be appropriate to disclose the precise detail of such deployments. The number of occasions that aid to the civil power functions were carried out by Defence Forces personnel at Shannon Airport in 2016 was 396. The cost incurred in the provision of this support by the Defence Forces to An Garda Síochána in 2016 was €181,669. These costs comprise payment of security duty allowance, provision of rations and fuel. To date in 2017, the Defence Forces have provided support to An Garda Síochána at Shannon Airport on 36 occasions at a cost of €19,822.
I am satisfied that there is ongoing and close liaison between both An Garda Síochána and the Defence Forces and between my Department and the Department of Justice and Equality regarding security matters generally, including the Defence Forces' aid to the civil power role.