Former Cavan top cop involved in Irish EUROPOL exercise

‘Operation FIRESTORM’ which took place March 6-9.

A former senior member of An Garda Siochana in charge of policing in the region headed up the Irish involvement in a EUROPOL coordinated joint exercise on surveillance and intervention aimed at readying response to terrorist and criminal activity.

“An Garda Síochána is committed to working with our International Partners in ensuring the safety of citizens here in Ireland and in Europe. Operation FIRESTORM demonstrates that An Garda Síochána has the capacity and capability to be engaged in policing and security activities at the highest level,” said Assistant Commissioner Michael McElgunn, Garda National Crime and Security Intelligence Service, of the exercise titled ‘Operation FIRESTORM’ which took place March 6-9.

The exercise, involved units connected with the ATLAS network and the European Surveillance Group, from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Units from An Garda Síochána attached to Garda National Crime and Security Intelligence Service including Special Tactics and Operations Command were integral parts of the exercise.

The coordinated exercise, executed in real-life conditions, started in Ireland and culminated with several simultaneous interventions in Luxembourg and Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Assistant Commissioner McElgunn further highlighted that live exercises, such as Operation FIRESTORM, are “essential in ensuring Ireland and Europe’s readiness to respond to terrorist and criminal activity. An Garda Síochána will play its part in protecting domestic and international communities,” he said.

In May 2022 Asst Comm was allocated to the North Western Region. He moved to the role of Asst Comm at the Crime & Security Intelligence Service earlier this year.

He was involved in supporting the setting up of a renewed investigation into the Belturbet bombings 50 years ago.