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Taoiseach convenes first meeting of Government Security Committee

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, TD, has today chaired the first meeting of the new Government Security Committee.

An Taoiseach said: “Ireland is a safe and stable country, and one of the safest places in the world in which to live. Our current security status remains unchanged as moderate. Last week’s simulated event in the Dublin Docklands was very successful and the emergency response from An Garda Síochána was professional and reassuring. It has already proved instructive for dealing with future incidents.

“However, we need to prepare for every eventuality. As I indicated earlier this year, in my view it’s important that Government Ministers should have active oversight of national security arrangements. That’s why I have convened the first meeting of this new Government Security Committee, combining Cabinet members and security officials.”

Ministers were briefed by the Defence Forces and An Garda Síochána on the current security situation. They were advised that the threat level is assessed as moderate, which means that while a terrorist attack is possible, it is unlikely at present.

The Committee also discussed the current arrangements for national security, reviewed the recent Docklands security exercise and discussed potential future exercises.

The committee agreed that further exercises will be staged on a multi-agency basis involving the Defence Forces, An Garda Síochána, the fire service, ambulance service and other response agencies. They will start with virtual table-top simulations and move on to live exercises.

The meeting also agreed that the Committee will be established as Cabinet Committee F.

The meeting was attended by the Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald; Minister of State at the Department of Defence Paul Kehoe; Ministers and senior officials from the Departments of Justice & Equality; Defence; Enterprise & Innovation; Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform; Foreign Affairs & Trade; Health; Housing, Planning & Local Government; Communications, Climate Action & Environment; and Transport, Tourism & Sport.