30. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if detectives from the Cork city Garda division will be issued with non-lethal Tasers as part of their equipment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32839/17]
Deputy Charles Flanagan: The Deputy will appreciate that the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the deployment of equipment, including less-lethal weapons, to members of An Garda Síochána and I, as Minister, have no direct role in the matter.
I am, however, informed by the Garda authorities that the item of equipment referred to by the Deputy, the Taser, is only issued to members of the emergency response unit and armed support units, which are deployed regionally including in the Cork city division. Arrangements are currently in place with detective personnel to ensure the capacity and capability for An Garda Síochána to respond to an armed or critical incident in Cork city and its environs on a 24-7 basis.
The Deputy will be aware that armed support units were established to provide an armed response capacity and capability on a regional basis to support and supplement the national emergency response unit. Members of the units are highly trained and equipped with a variety of non-lethal and lethal weapons and perform high-visibility armed checkpoints and patrols throughout their respective regions.
As the Deputy will be aware an armed support unit has been established in the southern region, based in both Cork and Limerick, since 2008. Therefore, non-lethal capability and capacity by An Garda Síochána in the southern region, and in Cork city, is provided for by the regional armed support unit.
In the event of an armed incident or similar incident, armed detectives from local district and divisional units will respond, as will the armed support units, which are based in each Garda region, including Cork city.