Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Questions (497)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

497. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Justice if MI5 or any other British military intelligence organisations are or have been working in Ireland over the past five years; if so, if they are operating with the licence of the policing and Army authorities of the State; and if her attention has been drawn to MI5 or any other British military intelligence organisations operating at any level here without permission of An Garda Síochána, the Army or Government. [41228/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

 I am sure the Deputy will understand that it would not be appropriate, for sound reasons of security, to elaborate in any detail on what might be entailed in the Garda authorities' relationship with other security and intelligence services.

There is a long shared history between the two jurisdictions in counteracting terrorism on the Island. There are in place well established mechanisms that support high levels of cooperation between the authorities in both jurisdictions. An Garda Síochána maintains a close working relationship with the police and security services in Northern Ireland and Great Britain and, indeed, with their counterparts in the EU and other third countries in respect of ongoing international efforts to counter terrorism. 

In its capacity as the State's security service, An Garda Síochána remains vigilant in relation to allegations of activities by foreign security services in this jurisdiction. 

I would also make clear to the Deputy that all persons in this jurisdiction are fully subject to our laws and any evidence of breach of the criminal law would be fully pursued in the normal way by the relevant authorities.