Irish government insists gardaí have resources to deal with terrorist threat
THE Irish government last night insisted that gardaí have the necessary resources to deal with the threat of terrorism.
Justice minister Frances Fitzgerald was speaking as further details emerged about the Irish connection to one of the London Bridge attackers.
Rachid Redouane (30), one of three men responsible for killing seven people and injuring scores of others last weekend, married London-born Charisse Ann O'Leary in Dublin in 2012 and gave an address in Rathmines.
He left the Republic at some point but is believed to have lived in Ireland again in 2015.
It is not known if he used the Irish border to travel into the UK.
Redouane was never under surveillance by Irish authorities and Ms Fitzgerald urged caution over speculating about his movements.
"These are the kinds of operational details that could be relevant to an ongoing investigation which is being undertaken by our closest neighbour in the most difficult and serious of circumstances," she said.
Rachid Redouane is believed by members of the Moroccan community in Ireland to be a bogus name as it is a combination of two common first names.
The killer gave his date of birth as July 31 1986 for his marriage certificate but according to police in London he also used an alias, Rachid Elkhdar, and the later birthday of July 31 1991.
He was described on the certificate as a pastry chef.
Ms Fitzgerald said she could assure the public that "everything required is being done" and gardaí were offering every support and assistance to UK counterparts.
She also defended Ireland's ability to deal with a terrorist attack after the level of training and resources for gardaí was criticised.
The Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors said there are 2,500 fewer officers than five years ago and community policing - where vital intelligence is gathered - has been decimated.
The Republic's terror threat level currently states that an incident is possible but unlikely and there is no specific information of a threat from international terrorism.
"The gardai have in place the necessary operational measures in terms of intelligence, a well-trained and equipped special intervention capability and other national support resources," Ms Fitzgerald said.
"They are supported in this, as needed, by the considerable skills and resources of the Defence Forces.
"The necessary resources and supports are being given to An Garda Siochana."
Gardaí arrested a second man yesterday in relation to documentation linked to Rachid Redouane.
A file is already being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to a Moroccan national held in Limerick on Monday.
He was released without charge yesterday after being held on suspicion of possible offences under theft and fraud laws.
Hours later a man in his 30s was arrested in Wexford town and a property searched under the same legislation.
It is understood the arrest also related to documentation possibly linked to Redouane.
Redouane, who claimed to be of Moroccan and Libyan origin, married Ms O'Leary (38) at the office of the Civil Registration Service at Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital in Dublin.
It is not clear when he came to the Republic or how long he stayed but it is believed he used Irish jurisdiction to get a European Union permit which allowed him to be in the UK.
He is also thought to have travelled to Morocco after leaving Ireland before settling in Britain.
He returned to Ireland in 2015, again for an unknown length of time, but Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he was not one of a small number of radicals under surveillance.
An Irish security source described the killer as having "extensive immigration history related to the UK".
Redouane and Ms O’Leary are said to have an 18-month-old daughter but were separated after living together off and on for several years.
She was arrested by British police on Sunday in a temporary accommodation centre but was later released without charge.
When Redouane was married he gave his address as Grosvenor Square in Rathmines, an area of south Dublin housing many students and younger workers.