Specialist armed gardai units have been posted in major Irish cities in a new move to amp up our security.
TheJournal.ie reports that members of the Garda Armed Support Unit (ASU) have been directed to the cities of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Kilkenny and began their new patrols from 7pm last night.
Although a terrorist attack threat in Ireland is currently considered to be possible but unlikely, the new armed forces is a preventative move that comes after the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London.
The ASU, which saw gardai take up arms last year, was initially focused on areas of Dublin which were suffering from gang-related murders.
The ASU was unveiled late last year by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald as a high-profile specialist unit, equipped with firearms and other weapons and with members trained as emergency first-responders. Its initial focus was on high-visibility patrolling of areas of Dublin which have been vulnerable to a spate of gangland murders.
Members of the ASU are applicants from An Garda Síochána and have received 12 weeks of weapons and emergency response training.
They are separate from the Emergency Response Unit (ERU), which deals with high-risk events such as hostage situations and bomb threats, but both units undergo similar training.
New Fine Gael leader Leo Varadakar has recently given the indication that he plans to set up a government level committee on national security, similar to the UK's COBRA committee which deals with major crises including terrorism.
Since March, 34 people have died in London and Manchester as a result of terrorism, and almost 200 others injured.