Second Garda helicopter takes to air


The Garda Siochána Air Support Unit's second helicopter was officially unveiled today today.

Minister for Justice Brian Lenihan officially launched the €7.5 million Eurocopter EC135 with Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy at Garda Headquarters in Dublin.

"The Air Support Unit plays a vital role in supporting the work of An Garda Síochána . . . this new helicopter, with its state-of-the-art equipment, will greatly enhance that aerial support nationwide," Mr Lenihan said.

The helicopter will provide round-the-clock support to gardaí in major crime investigations, search and rescue, and traffic and public order operations.

The Garda Air Support Unit was set up in 1997. According to the Garda, it contributed to 1,300 arrests over the past three years. Some 14 people were located in search-and-rescue missions by the unit in 2007.