New group to assess threats to State security

 

Sir, – As a former Garda member, I have always advocated that a separate security and intelligence agency is required in this State.

The announcement that a new Strategic Threat Analysis Centre (STAC) is being set up is welcome given the still very prevalent threats from dissidents and fanatics from outside this jurisdiction.

What is not welcome is that whoever is in charge will report directly to the Taoiseach of the day.

They will not report to a panel of security and intelligence experts gathered from all the agencies, like the Cobra panel in the UK, but to a person not qualified in the field of intelligence.

Once again we see a good recommendation from the policing body being left to the politicos to make judgments on what is and always will be sensitive security and intelligence matters.

Will the person in charge of STAC be a political appointee or someone moved from a board overseeing some other department with no qualifications in this field?

Who will be on the body and who will be appointed to the body? What happens to the intelligence that is gathered? Will that intelligence be centralised, and who will have ultimate responsibility and custody of it? Who will be responsible for oversight of this agency to ensure that it carries out their activities lawfully and properly? I hope this does not become just another body or talking shop where people are more interested in remuneration and political point scoring than the job at hand. – Yours, etc,

CHRISTY GALLIGAN,

(Retd Gda Sgt),

Letterkenny,

Co Donegal.