Minister Humphreys and Garda Commissioner Harris mark six months of Ireland’s connection to Schengen Information System (SIS II)





16 September 2021


The Minister for Justice, Heather Humphreys TD, and the Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris, have today welcomed six months of Ireland’s successful connection to the Schengen Information System (SIS II), which occurred on 15 March 2021.


For the first six months of operation, there have been 74 arrests on SIS Article 26 (Alerts on Persons Wanted for Arrest for Surrender or Extradition Purposes) and 52 Arrests on already endorsed European Arrest Warrants for offences including Drug trafficking, Robbery, Sexual Assault, Burglary, Theft, Assault causing harm, Fraud and Property Offences. This is double the corresponding figures for the same 6 months in 2020.


Minister Humphreys said,


“I am pleased to mark the good progress Ireland has made since connecting to the Schengen Information System (SIS II) six months ago. These numbers demonstrate the positive impact SIS II has had on the investigation of trans-European crime to date, with a significant increase in the number of arrests for a large number of crime types.

“The integration of Ireland in the SIS II was achieved due to intensive preparatory work by An Garda Síochána, officials of my Department, participating States and EU-LISA (European Union Agency for large-scale IT systems) and I would like to thank everyone involved in this project for making this possible.”


Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said,

              "The introduction of the Schengen Information System in Ireland has opened up a rapid information exchange gateway for An Garda Síochána and our colleagues in Police services across Europe.


“Since its introduction in this State six months ago, SIS II has enabled An Garda Síochána and its Gardaí on patrol to access and share real time police data and intelligence in the live environment, resulting in approximately 126 arrests relating to incidents of serious criminality across the EU.


“The successes of SIS II have already been many and the benefits of the system to the State and policing in Ireland for the benefit of all citizens cannot be overstated.


“I wish to again acknowledge the commitment and dedication of all personnel involved in the implementation of this system, particularly the personnel within the SIRENE Bureau. It is their professionalism and diligence that have contributed greatly to the success of this project thus far and will ensure its continued future advances.”    


SIS II is a centralised secure database used by European countries for maintaining information (alerts) related to border security and law enforcement and is a critical component of the open border policy that has been operating in Europe. The integration of SIS II into national systems means that automatic alerts are generated in real-time in instances where, for example, a Garda member encounters a person who is wanted or has been involved in a serious crime in another jurisdiction.  SIS also generates alerts on missing persons (in particular children), as well as information on certain types of property, such as banknotes, cars, vans, firearms and identity documents that may have been stolen, misappropriated or lost.


An Garda Síochána set up the SIRENE Bureau (Supplementary Information Request at the National Entries) to implement SIS II, which is part of an EU-wide network of national contact points and operates on a 24/7 basis.


The new database is intended to allow law enforcement officers faster and easier ways to exchange information in relation to possible criminal activity, with a particular view to preventing criminals taking advantage of international borders to facilitate illegality. The implementation and integration with SIS II is a key project to support An Garda Síochána’s objectives for European and International Police Co-operation. An Garda Síochána already makes full use of the range of information sharing means available to them, including Interpol, Europol and especially bi-lateral information exchange and SIS II provides an additional avenue in the fight against crime.




Notes for Editors:


Garda members add data to SIS II in the form of alerts. An alert contains three elements:



If the person or object is discovered in another country using SIS II (for example at a border check), a hit will be recorded on SIS II and law enforcement in that country will contact An Garda Síochána to discuss the relevant next steps. In this way, all missing person records and lost or stolen object and vehicle records created by An Garda Síochána will be immediately available to those other countries using SIS II. During 2019 alone, there were 120,000 missing person records shared on SIS II.


Likewise, records in regard to all persons sought for arrest and surrender for extradition across Europe will be automatically checked each time a member of An Garda Síochána conducts a name search on the Garda PULSE system or when a member of the Immigration Service of the Department of Justice conducts a passport scan at a point of entry to Ireland.



Examples of successes since the connection to SIS II