Department of Justice flying high with €21.5 million announced for airborne state security

Garda Helicopter 1

The Minister for Justice Simon Harris has today announced an additional capital allocation of €21.5 million to support significant investment in a replacement helicopter and fixed wing plane for An Garda Síochána.

€9m will go towards a replacement Garda Fixed Wing Aircraft with a further €12.5m being provided for the purchase and delivery of a new helicopter. The Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) was put in place by the European Commission to counter unforeseen and adverse consequences of Brexit to EU member states and sectors that are most affected. The total fund for 2020-2023 in Ireland is €1.17bn with sees Ireland being the biggest benefactor of the fund.

The funding will help Ireland’s economy in mitigating the impact of Brexit, through support to regions and economic sectors, including on job creation and protection, such as short-time work schemes, re-skilling, and training. In all, €282.2 million has been allocated to Ireland to assist in mitigating the effects of Brexit on the nation in 2023.

Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said: “Brexit has had a negative impact on many people’s lives. Within the EU, it is the people in Ireland who feel it the most. The EU’s Brexit Adjustment Reserve stands for solidarity with those most affected. In moving forward, we don’t want to leave anyone behind. The funding that Ireland will receive will contribute to improve living standards, support economic growth in the country and mitigate the negative impacts in local communities.” 

Together, the investments will provide a vital support to the security of the State, offering consistent and effective capacity to Garda national units in the investigation of espionage, terrorism, Organised Crime Gangs (OCG), border policing, human and drug trafficking, kidnapping and fuel smuggling/laundering.

Speaking yesterday, Minister Harris said:

“The Garda Air Support Unit does vital work to combat criminal activity and protect the public. This new, state-of-the-art plane and helicopter will significantly boost the State’s aerial support and ability to uphold national security. The allocation of this additional funding is further evidence of the government’s commitment to provide An Garda Síochána with the resources it needs to keep us safe.”

“It’s vital our Gardaí have the resources they need to tackle serious and organised crime, police our borders, investigate potential threats, increase their surveillance capacity and rapidly deploy specialist units, such as the Emergency Response Unit and the Armed Support Unit, across the State.”

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