13 March 2006

Defence Forces prepare security for parade

Irish Examiner

By Cormac O’Keeffe
13 March 2006

THE Defence Forces are making “robust efforts” to ensure that appropriate security measures are in place for the 90th anniversary of the 1916 rising.
A military parade involving 2,500 personnel is being held in Dublin.

Security and intelligence staff within the Defence Forces are determined to make sure that plans are in place to deal with any possible repeat of the rioting in Dublin two weeks ago.

A Defence Forces’ spokesman said: “We will continue robust efforts in ensuring that appropriate security measures are taken in the lead up to the parade on Easter Sunday.”

He said liaisons were taking place with gardaí as part of the security preparations.

He declined to comment on the garda handling of the rioting, which convulsed Dublin’s city centre on February 25.

The Defence Forces held rehearsals in Dublin and Cork over the weekend and have conducted other rehearsals in the Curragh.

Up to 700 soldiers from the Southern Brigade conducted a rehearsal along the Straight Road, near the County Hall in Cork, yesterday.

The Southern Brigade will be part of the Easter Sunday parade.

Senior army officers believe the rioting on February 25 had “raised the ante” for the 1916 parade.

The security plan for the celebrations is expected to be based on a rigorous risk assessment of the possible threat of disruption and a detailed plan to deal with any possible eventuality.

This will include proper, and speedy, backup to cope with any disruption, which critics say was absent from the rioting two weeks ago.

The Defence Forces’ military intelligence section is understood to be monitoring individuals suspected of being intent on causing problems on the day.

The section is also believed to be monitoring websites for other signs of hostile intent.

Military intelligence regularly coordinates with the Garda Security and Intelligence Section in security operations. However, the Defence Forces has a separate mandate to conduct its own operations in providing security to the State.

The parade will depart from Dublin Castle, pass through Dame Street, College Green and O’Connell Street. The 1916 Proclamation will be read outside the GPO, followed by military honours.

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