Road checkpoints on way - Ahern


Multi-agency checkpoints are to be set up on some of the State’s roads in an attempt to clamp down on criminal activity, Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern said today.

Speaking in Dublin, following a meeting with the new Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson last night, Mr Ahern indicated he was eager to take action to curtail the activities of criminal and terrorist groups.

He said the checkpoints would be manned by gardaí, members of the Revenue Commissioners, customs officials, social welfare inspectors and other groups.

“Not only does it deal people breaking the law generally but it also disrupts the movement gangs be they criminal or terrorist gangs,” he said.

The checkpoints would operate primarily in the Border areas from Donegal to Dundalk, but their focus would also stretch further south.

Mr Ahern said his meeting with Mr Paterson touched on issues such as co-operation and shared information and IT services between the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Garda. The discovery of a dissident bomb making facility in Dundalk last weekend was evidence of this.

“We’re getting [to] where we will have very significant crossover between the PSNI and Garda Síochána and that’s to ensure, particularly in the border areas, they’re working very closely together,” he said.

“From a police point of view they are working closer day by day as it should be and there is quite a lot of work going on in the background that people can’t see.”

He said the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition understood the enormous developments that have happened in the North.

Mr Paterson is expected to meet Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy and Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin during a visit to Dublin next week.