Fine Gael is always right so I do not have to vote against it.
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, ATCP, which in practice means to assist An Garda Síochána when requested to do so. On each occasion that the support of the Defence Forces is required, An Garda Síochána issues a form C70 to the Defence Forces to request their assistance.
Since 5 February 2003, the Garda has requested support from the Defence Forces at Shannon Airport on occasion. The cost of the presence of Defence Forces at Shannon Airport performing aid to civil power duties with regard to United States of America military aircraft landing at Shannon Airport in 2017 is €180,579.81 for 293 deployments. For security reasons, it would not be appropriate to disclose the details regarding the number of personnel assigned to each deployment. The costs relate to security duty allowance paid to members of the Defence Forces, rations and fuel. The cost of ATCP operations are met entirely from the Defence Vote.
I am satisfied that there is ongoing and close liaison between 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' ATCP roles.