Some of Ireland’s search and rescue (SAR) functions may be carried out by aircraft based in the UK, raising concerns among senior Irish military officers with regards to “intelligence implications”, reports The Irish Times.

It is understood that one of the primary concerns is the UK having access to Irish intelligence, reports The Irish Times.

“Irish officers are concerned about the intelligence implications of allowing UK-based aircraft to collect data over Ireland as they provide top cover for rescue missions.”

The outlet also quote a military source, saying:

“The main worry is control of the data. It’s not that we wouldn’t necessarily give this data to the UK if they asked for it. But if the planes are flying out of an English airfield we have zero control over it.”

This comes as private companies will shortly be asked to tender for a €60-million-a-year contract to provide a new SAR service to replace the current service provided by the Irish Coast Guard, CHC Ireland and the Air Corps.

“The winning bidder will likely be required to base four SAR helicopters at Irish bases. It will also be required to provide a fixed-wing aircraft or drone to provide top cover for rescue missions and be available on a 24-hour basis. The technical specifications for the contract have yet to be finalised but, according to sources familiar with internal discussions, serious consideration is being given to allowing the winning bidder to base their fixed-wing aircraft in the UK as a cost-saving measure.”

State ownership isn’t an option due to the costs involved and potential “risks to the state”, reports The Times here.

A presentation for potential bidders for the SAR contract last August made no mention of a requirement for fixed-wing aircraft to be Irish-based, you can read more about the contract here.

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barry white
barry white
5 months ago

Irish military concerned UK rescue aircraft could ‘collect intelligence’Is this April 1st already
What intelligence have they worth gathering

Mark
Mark
5 months ago
Reply to  barry white

You do realise just how much global IT systems are in Ireland?

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark

I’m pretty sure the boffins at GCHQ don’t need to fly a crappy Air Rescue plane over Ireland access those global IT systems.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

Certainly not. Cables can all be accessed elsewhere and any one who remembers Capenhurst can see how easily Irish communications can be intercepted.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
5 months ago

I hadn’t heard of this. I found this very interesting article about it.

How Britain eavesdropped on Dublin | The Independent | The Independent

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

That’s the fella.

Nothing will have changed, it will now take place elsewhere.

One of the UK’s jewels is actually our location concerning worldwide cable traffic.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago

You’ll note the name Duncan Campbell in that article. A researcher who was a thorn in the governments side for decades, you may recall the ABC trial from the 70s.

One of the upshots of that was that even the Post Office Tower in London was meant to be secret and could not be acknowledged!! ( Same comms traffic as Capenhurst too )

maurice10
maurice10
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Mark, a very interesting point! Does that imply there could be a direct link from GCHQ to the Bank of England? If so, is that insider trading?

Mark B
Mark B
5 months ago
Reply to  barry white

The secret to brewing a good pint of Guinness …

drewball
drewball
5 months ago
Reply to  barry white

Exactly…well said

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
5 months ago

Aircraft flying out of a Scottish or Welsh airfield should be ok.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
5 months ago
Reply to  Dave Wolfy

Coz us Scots have a great History with the Irish???

Even Robert the Bruce tried to grab a bit of Ireland for Scotland.

John Clark
John Clark
5 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

Come along Douglas, you’re not fitting the ‘right narrative’ mate, you’ll be hauled in by the SNP secret police!

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
5 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

I think I already have been on twitter!

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
5 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

The “military source” commented on aircraft flying out of English airfields!

Airborne
Airborne
5 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

Mate you were the Irish in the 4th-6th centuries.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Scotti?
The Scots then were the Picts / Caledonians.
My ancestors routed them at Mons Grapius!

Airborne
Airborne
5 months ago

I love history, and have anumber of letters (admittedly earned late in life) on a piece of paper saying so… those naughty Irish Scotti tribe, sailing everywhere….lol

geoff
geoff
5 months ago

Morning Daniele. this is fun ! 🙂

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Morning geoff. It is, but probably the wrong forum?!

Herodotus
5 months ago

The Roman Legions came from all over the Empire. Just as likely to be from North Africa, the Balkans or the Near East. I think that ‘Scots’ is derived from ‘Scotii’. The Picts are still something of a mystery in terms of language etc. Much of Southern Scotland was part of the Angle kingdom of Northumbria….hence the predominantly Anglified place names there. The Scots Gaelic influence predominates in the Highland and Islands. As has been mentioned, these island have been subjected to waves of immigration since the end of the last Ice-Age. It is sobering to think that however ethnic… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

True, especially after the Marius reforms and in the classical period of the empire. In the Republic days most Legionaries were still Italians. Later of course very few were actually Italian, but all Roman. If I’m going to be picky, the Legions were not even engaged at Mons Grapius. The Auxilia were. Yes, Picts. The painted ones. Agree Scots comes from Scotii, I think who were actually the tribes in Ireland who then raided after the Romans left and settled Scotland. Talking of Auxilia, Hadrian brought some thousands over and settled them on Hadrians Wall. They may have been the… Read more »

Herodotus
5 months ago

I am sure that you are right with your encyclopaedic knowledge of army organisation. However, I think that legionnaires were at Mons and that Auxiliary troops at this time were regionally sourced i.e. low countries, Germany….so not Italians per se. Am I being picky or just Picty…sorry about that one. As for Picts being the painted ones, this appears to be an an Iron-age custom across Britain…what with all that woad. I think that Tacitus remarked upon them engaging in battle with their naked bodies covered in blue dye. Must have been bloody disconcerting that. Fancy being attacked by blue… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Sorry H, I didn’t explain myself correctly. You’re not being picky, just not getting my meaning. Of course Legions were at Mons Grapius, I said they were not engaged, I did not say they were absent. Accounts suggest they were held in reserve and did not get involved in fighting, and the front rank who were Auxilia engaged, and Roman cavalry also. Of course Auxilia were not Italians, I meant the Legionaries were, in the early empire. By Hadrians time most were not, as you said. As early as 43 with the Claudian invasion of Britain Auxilia I recall from… Read more »

Dern
Dern
5 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

If you go to Hadrians wall you can be treated to a memorial to a unit of Syrian Archers that was stationed on the wall, and I don’t think there where many Syrian’s locally available in northern Britain.
Some units where locally sourced, some where not, some where initially raised in one place,stationed somewhere else and then slowly changed their make up as the time passed and recruits came from their station, instead of where they where raised.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  Dern

I’ve visited Housesteads and Vindolanda.
Is the memorial at either? Don’t recall seeing it.

Dern
Dern
5 months ago

I believe it’s at Vindolanda, but it’s been years since I’ve been so I might be mistaken. I recall a little pillar tucked in a quiet corner of the grounds, thoroughly modern, dedicated to the 1st Cohort of Hamians, a Syrian unit stationed on the wall. I believe it’s based on evidence from funeral stones and diplomas (discharge papers of Auxilliaries) that mentions the unit serving on the wall after campaigns in Romania, but it’s late at night and my memory is quite foggy, as I said, it’s been years since I’ve been up to Hadrians Wall. (edit: Plus I… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Dern
Airborne
Airborne
5 months ago

Me to mate. Have a deep knowledge of Roman warfare and history, and sad as it may seem, when able, I get my camping kit and choose a route, and walk identifiable (and probable) Roman routes and roads, camp at fort/marching camp sites and continue the next day. Even got my missus doing, it, although where she is form its hot and dry and a lot more visible remains to see, so she gets bore much quicker……lol cheers.

Airborne
Airborne
5 months ago

Spot on mate in the Republic the Army was a temporary organisation, and raised for a specific time, for a specific campaign, from those Latins who had a vested interest in fighting, such as the land owners and others with the property which qualified them. The later Army, once as you say, Marius got hold of it, changed considerably, certainly after the critieria changed for joining, which eventualy led to the professional Legions owing loyalty to a decent commander than to the encumbent emperor. Sorry mate I could waffle about this all night but, this isn’t the site…..lol

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Waffle away.

I’m impressed about your road marching. Found the Battle of Watling St location yet?

Airborne
Airborne
5 months ago

Lol wouldn’t that be something. There’s a number of locations along the A5 but the description given is a little vague. Seutonius would have chose the best position to prevent flanking movement, ie in the valley with the heavy forest to the rear. Maximising his position and ensuring the Britons heavier numbers didn’t come into play. I have to say I do map studies, 1:25000 are better, then choose known or likely (where their should a fort or marching camp) routes, then take the time to plot and plan a route and go for it. South and mid Wales is… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Fan bloody tastic mate.

Yes, that is as far as we know regards location. A tiny clue. Must be along that route as direct from Anglesey and the Druids!

Trevor G
Trevor G
5 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

All fine except that although Gaelic predominated in the western isles, this is emphatically not the case in Orkney or Shetland, where the language was Norn (old norse). There is no gaelic tradition in Shetland, although the SNP government don’t seem to be aware of this, so for instance we have bilingual signage on police cars etc.

Herodotus
5 months ago
Reply to  Trevor G

An interesting error by the Scottish government! And, don’t these islands traditionally return Liberal MPs not SNP secessionists?

Trevor G
Trevor G
5 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Yes we do, and because of this we are treated more harshly than other areas when it comes to central government support for local authority and local transport. Last time round the SNP tried really really hard to win, and Shetland was plastered from end to end with SNP election posters, visits by grandees etc, to the point where it was subsequently proven that they had exceeded the legal maximum election expenses limit. They still lost.

Andy P
Andy P
5 months ago
Reply to  Trevor G

The Gaelic guff boils my piss. Train station signs and as you say the police and ambulances… A lot of romanticised keech. Another small thing to make us ‘different’ from those evil English. Its been a loooooooong time since anyone outside of the He-brides spoke Gaelic, certainly not in the Central belt where the vast majority of us live. Some weirdo’s even send their kids to schools to learn it, I’d be more keen for kids to learn Spanish or whatever than some near dead language. Sorry for the rant, I just find the whole Gaelic thing futile, fair enough… Read more »

Trevor G
Trevor G
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Totally agree. And if the decisions were related to real world utility, it would be more relevant in Shetland if the second language in bilingual signs here was Polish, Hungarian or Latvian…

Andy P
Andy P
5 months ago
Reply to  Trevor G

Can’t argue with you Trevor, said the same thing about Polish being more useful.

We don’t have the same drive to revive Doric etc, its nothing but a cheap ploy to ‘unite’ us and make us different to the Morris Dancers. It must cost a small fortune to come up with the signage too.

Dern
Dern
5 months ago

The Picts and Caledonians where the inhabitants of Scotland during the Roman Empire Daniele, however the Scots themselves where a Tribe that lived in Ireland and migrated to Scotland in the 400’s and founded the Kingdom of Dal Riada.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  Dern

Yep, pretty much what I’d said.

Had not heard of Dal Riada mind.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
5 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Not with my blue eyes and light hair colour! Given I’m from Ayrshire my lineage is likely to be a mix of Strathclyde British (Welsh!), Norse and Anglo Saxon.

Airborne
Airborne
5 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

We are all a heady mix of ancient Briton, Anglo Saxon , jutes Danes and Norse,, and throw in a few Irish and there we go, a real mix, and one I have researched and proud of. Ànd the amusing thing is we are all started in Europe. Cheers mate.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
5 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

We’re all out of Africa if we go back far enough.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

I had my DNA analysed as a birthday gift from the wife…! Male and Female lines.
The results were the two largest parts of my make up are from northern Italy and Austria for my father’s side, obviously. For my mother, my British side, there is a very strong strain of Sami, indigenous Reindeer herders from northern Finland and Russia!

No wonder I rarely feel the cold!

Andy P
Andy P
5 months ago

I’m curious enough to try this stuff but my missus (who works in cancer research with genetics) is very sceptical. She knows a guy who’s set up one of the companies doing it. Her main ‘concern’ is the companies can sell on this info apparently, you pay them to do it too so they make money at both ends of it.

I doubt I’m very ‘exotic’ but you never know, my money is on basic Jock/Boggy.

Herodotus
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

I think that there is a strong element of guff with these commercial services as well. More like fortune telling than science. I think that it is easier if you are descended from recent immigrants, but more problematic over many generations. DNA doesn’t lie, but the interpretation of it can be subjective!

Andy P
Andy P
5 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

I think its got better Herodotus, at least so I’ve been told but that might vary from company to company.

Asked the missus about it after posting the above and she reckons we’ll be able to get it done on the NHS at some point.

Herodotus
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Hopefully, the NHS will charge for it and provide a valuable source of income for them. I would certainly buy a DNA test from them rather than Mystic Meg Genetics!

Airborne
Airborne
5 months ago

Me to again mate, I’m a heady mix of Northern European, and ancient Briton….with small percentage of Norse. As has been said, how accurate these tests are can be debated but still interesting to look into.

geoff
geoff
5 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

Well Douglas, we Scots managed to get a bit in the North East which sort of makes up for the Scotti supplanting the Picts!!

geoff
geoff
5 months ago
Reply to  Dave Wolfy

Haha Dave. I am always amazed at how many Irish people direct all their vitriol towards England as opposed to the UK. This is either a deliberate attempt to cause discord within the British family or an inexplicable ignorance regarding the structure of the United Kingdom(England ceased to be a stand alone political entity three centuries ago). Our American cousins are guilty of this to a lesser and more benign extent, talking of the Queen of England or England leaving the EU etc.. I do however concede that we Brits add to the confusion with Flags, Anthems ,symbols and titles… Read more »

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
5 months ago
Reply to  geoff

I have started reading The IWM book of Modern Warfare edited by Julian Thompson, when on a tour of the US after the Falklands conflict he was asked “When are you British going to pull your troops out of Dublin?”
Maybe the Irish have good cause to be worried

geoff
geoff
5 months ago
Reply to  Dave Wolfy

Hilarious Dave

Something Different
Something Different
5 months ago
Reply to  Dave Wolfy

It annoys me when history forgotten. Scotland has been involved in the imperial mission even before the act of union. James VI of Scotland (who would go on to inherit the the English throne as Janes I) settled Protestant Scots in present day Ulster. Robert the Bruce also had a crack at Ireland too. As for the later British empire you just have to see the number of Scots place names and surnames to realise the nation’s influence around the globe.

Airborne
Airborne
5 months ago

English airfields? Either the military source is a moron and has a distinct lack of geographic knowldge, or blatantly one of tbe usual anti-English froth chops inventing shit where there is none. So by his comment he thinks those flying out of Welsh or Scottish airfields will be fine, even though same organisation, same airframes, usualy the same pilots? Does he know aircraft have the ability to…er….land on airfields, pretty much no matter where they are. Besides what int will they have that we want……very little. Nob jockey!

AV
AV
5 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Spot on mate.

Airborne
Airborne
5 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

You are mid 70s, had a full life I presume, and that’s the best you can contribute? Oh dear……

geoff
geoff
5 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Nice one Airborne! The history and people of the Islands of Britain and Ireland lie in a rich plate of scrambled eggs(and scallions) never again to be unscrambled! My favourite is Saint Patrick, beloved of inter alia, our Irish Republican neighbours, born in Great Britain!! Ulster is British and Ireland’s Patron Saint is British 🙂 🙂
Sorry, forgot myself for a moment there..

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago

This is very similar to an article we had on the UKDJ recently, and it was put to bed then.

Nothing new to add, really.

Mark
Mark
5 months ago

Hasn’t this already been on this site?

Again, this is mainly nonsense politics over the SAR.

Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Yes I was also thinking that I had seen the article before

Mark
Mark
5 months ago

Yeah, it’s the same bit just in the IT rather than the Indo this time. Look it’s a dead issue, the contract will most likely go to CHC again, with “some” going to the AC at some point.

George Royce
George Royce
5 months ago

Intelligence of what? Someone went out for a jog this morning. Yawn.

The irish mad they can’t plunder our waters anymore.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
5 months ago
Reply to  George Royce

Maybe they don’t want us to find out about a plan to invade Rockall?

George Royce
George Royce
5 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

Hehe.

I think we should use Rockall as a radar base. Or as a telescope to aid our space program. Might as well use that lump of rock for something.

Airborne
Airborne
5 months ago
Reply to  George Royce

Maybe give Harold a new council house….

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Garvie Island a better location I suggest, when range firing is on….

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago

Or maybe Gruinard!!!! LOL!

peter wait
peter wait
5 months ago
Reply to  George Royce

They don’t want us to see the horses going into the beef processing plants lol

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
5 months ago

The Irish are clearly hiding a division of Heavy Tanks they don’t want perfidious Albion to know about.

Peter Crisp
Peter Crisp
5 months ago

Wouldn’t a cheap solution just be to station 1 person who’s job it is to just check the info and make sure it’s all used in a normal way? I highly doubt aircraft who are on missions to try and save lives have the time or inclination to also spy especially on an ally as trusted as Ireland. The outrage at home would be enough to be a huge problem to the government if we were caught doing so and rightly so. Maybe I’m nieve but I have a feeling the UK armed forces like working with their Irish counterparts… Read more »

Mark
Mark
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter Crisp

Look again, this is just internal politics over who gets the contract for the next SAR period, and some are just trying to use any angle they can, this “intelligence concerns” angle is just part of that.

Yara-ma-yha-who
Yara-ma-yha-who
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Exactly, just follow the money, it’s all about money and the Irish Times are complicit in seeding misinformation in order to push their political / financial friends. Nothing new here.

Mark
Mark
5 months ago

Ah no, not even close to reality to be honest. This is some pushing for the DOD to return the SAR function to the AC an arguing that spending circa 500 million euros would be better spent in house with the AC rather than to a foreign company.

It has nothing to do with “misinformation” or anything else.

geoff
geoff
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark

Morning Mark. Enjoying the Craic 🙂 Regards

Jason Holmes
Jason Holmes
5 months ago

Old story

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
5 months ago

I think this is quite a reasonable position to take. Where will the data go and who has access to it? A sovereign country has rights to defend.

Airborne
Airborne
5 months ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

Not realy as it’s more about politics and who’s back is scratched in the next SAR contract.

dan
dan
5 months ago

Why are the Irish so paranoid??

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
5 months ago
Reply to  dan

They’re not. As Mark says, internal politics.

Frank62
Frank62
5 months ago

Surely we’ve always been able to snoop if we so wished just by the sheer proximity we have? Besides, what military secrets does Eire have they think we’d be interested in? Sounds like a fuss over nothing. Surely there’s nothuing that can’t be dealt with in neighbourly co-operation.

Meirion X
Meirion X
5 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Yes you right again. What is it that Ireland has got that the Uk has not got! ICBMs!

David Flandry
David Flandry
5 months ago

Exactly what intelligence are these Irish officers concerned about? The vast Irish naval armada, the nuclear forces of Ireland, or what?

Kevin Rose
Kevin Rose
5 months ago

I suppose their main concern will be that it may hamper their smuggling operations that have had been going on unchallenged for decades.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
5 months ago

Six pints of Guiness and you’ll get all the “intelligence” you want

AlexS
AlexS
5 months ago

Wasn’t this already posted before?

Mark
Mark
5 months ago

Just what intel exactly does that tiny insignificant country have that the UK could sneakily want to gather using search and rescue aircraft? Monkeys in suits time again!

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
5 months ago

I have started reading The IWM book of Modern Warfare edited by Julian Thompson, when on a tour of the US after the Falklands conflict he was asked “When are you British going to pull your troops out of Dublin?”

Maybe the Irish have good cause to be worried.

Rob N
Rob N
5 months ago

All the Irish concerns would be addressed if they would pay for their own rescue and air defence instead of scrounging off the UK. It is about time they stopped complaining and started paying!

Mark
Mark
5 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

The SAR contract is private and has been for 20 years, this whole story is about the new contract.

Andy
Andy
5 months ago

I understand the historical perspective and the potential for regression with Brexit, but this seems a bit of a reach. Are they going to study tourists?

OldSchool
OldSchool
5 months ago

Hasn’t this been discussed before? I note the Irish times link is to an Oct 28 article.