Garda Emergency Response Unit
The Emergency Response Unit (Irish: Aonad Práinnfhreagartha) of the Garda Síochána is a specialist armed intervention unit under the Special Detective Unit (SDU), formed to assist ordinary members of the force in extraordinary situations.
The ERU was formed as the Special Task Force in 1978, following a decision of Justice Ministers at the Ninth Council of the EEC at Brussels in 1975. The Special Task Force was based in Dublin and it formed part of the Special Detective Unit in Harcourt Street. This unit was renamed the Emergency Response Unit in 1987.
Most recently the ERU has been deployed to trouble spots in Dublin and Limerick to tackle gun crime. One incident in the latter half of 2006 involved an ERU team pursuing armed suspects in Limerick after a shooting incident in the city. The ERU stopped and arrested the suspects after a chase which the media reported reached speeds of 240 km/h near the village of Croom.
The Barr Tribunal's investigation into the shooting of John Carthy in Abbeylara in 2000 brought the ERU's existence and role to public attention in recent years, and ERU members were criticised in the tribunal's report on the incident.
- Armed response in anti-criminal/subversive operations
- Implementation of search techniques, including use of forced entry
- Execution of high-risk warrants
- VIP Protection
- Provide specialist patrols as directed
- Provide ground and air regional patrols
- Hostage rescue
Training of the ERU is carried out in the Garda's Tactical Training Unit, established in 1983 under the authority of the Garda college, Templemore. An officer's journey into the ranks of the ERU begins with a two-week initiation dubbed 'hell week', where candidates are both physically and mentally assessed. Members of the ERU have received training with the Irish Army Ranger Wing, and the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team. In addition, ERU officers have been trained abroad in Germany, the UK and the US.
ERU officers are required to qualify three times per year in all firearms being used by the unit. Training consists of in-house tactical training on an ongoing basis from the ERU's own firearms instructors and refresher range practice.
Weapons and equipment
- Benelli M4 Super 90
- Remington 870, fitted with Reflex sights. These fire bean bag rounds.
- Heckler & Koch MP7
- Steyr SSG 69
- Heckler & Koch G3KA4
- Heckler & Koch HK33
- Steyr SSG 04
In order for ERU operators to be deployed in Dublin, a request must be made by the Divisional Officer to the Detective Chief Superintendent of the Special Detective Unit. For operations in other parts of Ireland, the Divisional Officer would make the request to the appropriate Assistant Commissioner.
- "An Garda Siochana Annual Report 2009" (in Irish). Garda Síochána. 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
- "The Crime & Security Branch". Garda Síochána. 2009. Retrieved 3 May 2009.
- Leroy Thompson (1 March 2013). "IRELAND'S ARMY RANGERS, Page 2". Tactical Life. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "EMERGENCY RESPONSE UNIT (E.R.U.)". Retrieved 4 May 2009.
- "Rank and Structure in the Garda Síochána and the Role of the Emergency Response Unit". Retrieved 3 May 2009.
- "Armed gardaí crack down on gangland blackspots with checkpoints across Dublin". Sunday Tribune. 21 November 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
- "Limerick's gang leaders recruit children for killing missions". Irish Examiner. 7 November 2006. Retrieved 21 July 2008.
- "Barr Tribunal Report – Chapter 8 – Conclusions". Retrieved 22 June 2011.
- Lally, Conor (20 October 2004). "Plan to have fewer armed Gardaí". Irish Times. Retrieved 26 November 2006.
- "Unofficial ERU Weapons Page". 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2009.
- "THE EXIT OF JOHN CARTHY FROM THE HOUSE". Retrieved 3 May 2009.
- "Oireachtas Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defense and Women's Rights on Abbeylara Shooting, Page 1". Oireachtas. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
- "The Aftermath – Post-Mortem, Forensic and Ballistic Examination". Retrieved 3 May 2009.
- "Garda Use of Less Lethal Weapons". Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. 20 July 2006. Retrieved 3 May 2009.
- "Less-Lethal Weapons". Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. Retrieved 4 May 2009.
- "ERU authorised to use TASER type devices". Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. 3 April 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2009.
- "Gardaí using armour-plated cars seized from criminals". Breaking News. 26 October 2010. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.