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Terror Threat

Watch: Gardaí test response to terror attack in simulation at Dublin's Docklands

The Garda Commissioner said there is no intelligence to say a threat such as this will happen but it is important for officers to be prepared. / YouTube

GARDAÍ CONDUCTED A counter-terrorism exercise in Dublin this morning to test their response in the event of a mass casualty terrorist attack.

The simulation, codenamed ’Sciath’, involved a number of actors at the Docklands railway station in Dublin’s north inner city and the garda units involved today had not been told ahead of time what would be involved.

It started with two men in a black van striking a female cyclist on the footpath outside the train station. The two men, one armed with a large blade and the other with a gun, then assaulted the woman and two others further along the path before moving inside the station.

The incident was initially reported as a road traffic collision and the first patrol car arrived on the scene in less than four minutes. The unarmed gardaí assessed the situation and called for backup and medical assistance. Again, less than four minutes later, the first armed unit arrived on the scene.

A second unit arrived shortly afterwards and they moved inside.

Niall Carson / PA Niall Carson / PA / PA

As part of the simulation, the men inside acted out assaulting a number of people inside the station. Armed officers used stun grenades and blank rounds, shooting one of the suspects and securing the scene.

Gardaí then moved to a train outside on the platform where they played out another scenario in which one of the suspects was holding passengers hostage. Negotiations with the man were unsuccessful and armed units moved in and shot him.

Niall Carson / PA Images Niall Carson / PA Images / PA Images

“Today has demonstrated the professionalism and the capability that we have,” Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan told reporters after the training exercise was finished.

“Incidents like this can happen. We have to make sure that we are ready to respond to those incidents. In the last few days we have given instructions to all of our members and I think we wanted to see how those instructions would work,” she said.

Ireland is a very safe place. We have no intelligence to say a threat such as this is going to happen, but we have to be realistic, we have to look at what’s happening in other jurisdictions and we have to make sure that we’re prepared and agile enough to respond and I think today has demonstrated that.

The Commissioner said simulations such as today’s operation are prioritised in high density areas like Dublin city, but she said further exercises will take place in other parts of the country to test response times outside the capital.

She also said the will be increased numbers in armed support units all across the country by the end of this year.

Video by Andrew Roberts

Read: Woman seeks to block her children travelling to London because of terror threat>

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