Irish border policing: New armed unit begins operations

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PA Media

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The unit will be staffed by gardaí from other armed support units until new members are fully trained

A new armed support unit in the Republic of Ireland for policing the border region has started operations in counties Cavan and Monaghan.

Irish broadcaster RTÉ reports that the new unit is to be based in Cavan and will complement two other border-based armed units in Dundalk and Donegal.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said it would be staffed by gardaí (Irish police) from other armed support units.

That will be until new members are fully trained to operate it.

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Twenty officers from other armed support units, including the southern region, have been temporarily transferred to staff the border patrols.

An Garda Síochána (Irish police force) has indicated it has “additional capacity” in the other units but it is also training an extra 30 gardaí for full-time armed support duty.

The Garda Representative Association said the establishment of the unit was overdue.

It said the deployment is necessary with the advent of Brexit and because of “the increase in cross-border criminality and dissident activity”.

This month, Kevin Lunney, 50, a director of Quinn Industrial Holdings, was found beaten beside a road in County Cavan after being abducted in Northern Ireland.

Detectives on both sides of the Irish border are investigating the attack.

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