55. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on alleged terrorist activities here by a group (details supplied) or sympathisers of same that are using financial institutions for the purposes of channelling funds to Syria; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4393/19]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Protecting the State and the people from terrorism and supporting international peace and security are amongst the highest priorities for the Government.
Ireland, like many other open and democratic states, faces a threat from international terrorism, money laundering and terrorist financing activity.
Legal, regulatory and operational measures are in place to target anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing involving a range of Government Departments and agencies including the Department of Finance, the Department of Justice and Equality, An Garda Síochána, the Criminal Assets Bureau, alongside other stakeholders in countering such activity, such as the Central Bank of Ireland, the Revenue Commissioners and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
In accordance with the provisions of section 7 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005, An Garda Síochána is responsible for the investigation of terrorist related activity, including financing. In this regard, An Garda Síochána utilises a number of statutory provisions, including the Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005, Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010 and the Criminal Justice Act 1984, in the investigation of suspected terrorist financing.
An Garda Síochána remains vigilant in the monitoring and investigation of any suspected incidents of terrorist financing and continues to conduct intelligence led operations to disrupt and dismantle domestic or international terrorist networks who facilitate terrorism through terrorism financing.
The Deputy will appreciate that it would not be appropriate for me to comment on the detail of security matters. I can however assure the Deputy that my Department liaises on an on-going basis with An Garda Síochána in respect of such matters.