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Security Forces (Co-Operation)

Volume 84: debated on Monday 28 October 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) whether, in the light of the recent statement of the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, that the Gardai in the Republic of Ireland had had to reduce its resources for the penetration and monitoring of terrorist groups, he remains satisfied with the co-operation between the security forces of the Irish Republic and the Royal Ulster Constabulary in the apprehension and conviction of members of the Irish Republican Army and the Irish National Liberation Army; and if he will make a statement;(2) whether the recent statement by the Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary on security accurately represents

(a) Her Majesty's Government's policy towards cross-border co-operation between the British and Irish security forces and (b) Her Majesty's Government's assessment of the effectiveness of that cooperation; and if he will make a statement.

[pursuant to his reply, 25 October 1985, c. 282]: It is now clear that the Chief Constable's recent lecture to a gathering of professional police officers in the United States on the subject of border terrorism in an international context was seriously misrepresented in the media. While the Chief Constable expressed concern at the scale of resources available to the Gardai, he paid tribute to the Gardai, saying specifically that it was an excellent force of fine men; that the Royal Ulster Costabulary and the Gardai had a good relationship along the border at working level; and that there was no lack of will by the Gardai to combat terrorism. It is regrettable that an unreliable report should have led to so much unnecessary controversy.We appreciate the co-operation which already takes place between the security forces on both sides of the border, and the Government intend to take every opportunity to improve it still further.