Concern about call by Judge for Civil Defence in Tallaght

24 January 2014

Response by Paschal Donohoe TD, Minister for European Affairs on behalf of the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD

The Minister would not accept the proposition that the assistance of Civil Defence is required in respect of the policing arrangements in Tallaght, or indeed any other area. The role of Civil Defence, as a volunteer-based organisation, is to support emergency services and this generally occurs in relation to matters such as dealing with severe weather, flooding, major accidents, fire fighting and searching for missing people. The organisation is trained and equipped accordingly and its role, authority and capabilities do not extend to policing or crime prevention matters. In light of this, the Minister considers that it would neither be appropriate nor effective to engage Civil Defence in support of general measures to combat crime.

An Garda Síochána, as the national police force, is the body with the appropriate authority, expertise and resources to combat and prevent crime, and rightly has the widespread support of the community to that end.