Garda National Surveillance Unit

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The Garda National Surveillance Unit (NSU) (Irish: Aonad Faireachán Náisiúinta) is the covert, intelligence gathering and surveillance operations unit of the Garda Síochána, the national police force of Ireland. The unit operates out of the Crime and Security section based at Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. Members of the unit are specially trained and selected Detective Gardaí who are tasked to remain covert and inconspicuous whilst on duty, often tracking subversive activity, drug-trafficking and other serious crimes.[1] The unit's detectives are armed with concealable Walther P99C semi-automatic pistols.


The unit has been involved in a number of high-profile Garda operations including the 2009 attempted robbery of a cash-in-transit vehicle in Lucan, County Dublin where a raider was shot and killed by an NSU detective[2] and the Abbeyleix bank robbery attempt in 2001, where a member of the unit, Detective Sergeant John Eiffe lost his life following an accidental shooting from a bullet ricochet by a member of the Emergency Response Unit.[3] The unit came under scrutiny during the investigation of the Omagh Bombing in 1998, where Detective Sergeant John White claimed that the Gardaí had failed to act on information it received from a reliable informant about the bombing before it occurred and furthermore failed to pass on any such information to the RUC.[4]


  1. ^ "Surveillance in the spotlight". Archived from the original on 2009-04-20. 
  2. ^ "Cash van robbers were under surveillance". Archived from the original on 2009-05-16. 
  3. ^ Felle, Tom (27 May 2004). "Inquest into Garda death at bank raid delayed". Irish Independent. 
  4. ^ Cowan, Rosie; Hopkins, Nick (26 October 2002). "Irish police accused on Omagh". The Guardian (London). 

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