Armed Gardaí secure Shannon from terrorist threat

John Kerin
Garda Chief Superintendent John Kerin

SHANNON Airport has a full-time armed security presence tied in to its immigration control unit, the head of the Clare Garda Division has confirmed.

At a special meeting of Clare County Council last week, Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway asked if fears that Shannon might be under threat from terrorist attack were founded.

He was told by Chief Superintendent John Kerins that there is “no known threat” to Shannon and up to seven Gardaí have been assigned to the airport for the last 17 years, since the War in Iraq.

He said that it is government policy to allow US Military planes to use Shannon as a stopover and it is the Garda’s role to ensure that planes and personnel are safe when that happens.

Supt Kerins said the situation in Shannon is unique to Clare. Speaking about resources in the district, he told the meeting that since 2008, the Clare division was operating with 32 fewer Gardaí.

He added that the allocation of resources was affected by the need for Gardaí to be deployed in Dublin to deal with the violent crime which needed resources and specialised units.

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And he concluded that the force was a victim of its own success, with the falling crime rates in Clare not helping the case for the allocation of more resources.

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