Belfast Telegraph

Gardai stage hostage rescue in training drill

Officers conducted a critical incident exercise test.

Members of the Garda Emergency Response unit during a multi-agency emergency exercise at the Newtownfane Pumping station in Co Louth (Niall Carson/PA)
Members of the Garda Emergency Response unit during a multi-agency emergency exercise at the Newtownfane Pumping station in Co Louth (Niall Carson/PA)

By Aine McMahon, PA

Gardai in the Republic of Ireland have conducted a critical incident exercise involving a hostage situation and fatal road crash, to test how the force deals with unexpected situations.

Gardai released footage of the training exercise in Co Louth, where a Garda Armed Support Unit and trained negotiator secured the release of a hostage.

The exercise involved teams and observers from Gardai, the National Ambulance Service, Irish Water, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, the Civil Defence, Defence Forces and Revenue Customs Officers.

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Training scenario in Co Louth (Niall Carson/PA)

It also aimed to test cross-border communication between emergency services.

During the exercise, staff from Louth County Council discovered trespassers discharging contents from a tanker into the River Fane at Newtownfane.

Staff alerted the Gardai but were taken hostage by two of the men.

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Gardai negotiated the release of a hostage (Niall Carson/PA)

The second scenario saw a man leave the site in another tanker, only to be involved in a major collision with a bus in Co Monaghan that resulted in multiple injuries and deaths.

Speaking at the event in Co Louth, Garda Superintendant Fergus Treanor stressed the importance of carrying out simulations, saying: “It is all about communication and how well the various agencies work together and making sure who takes control at various stages to ensure the best outcome can be achieved.”

PA

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