Gardaí are sent to France to assist with security operations at the Paris Olympics

Gardaí are being deployed to France to assist with security operations during both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, which start next month.

At the request of French authorities, An Garda Síochána has been given permission to deploy Garda members to France for the duration of the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in July, August and September.

The Summer Olympics and Paralympics will see supporters from all over the world, including thousands of Irish supporters traveling to France.

Garda headquarters at Phoenix Park confirmed the deployment on Monday.

In a statement, Garda management confirmed that “an internal competition has commenced” to select members who will travel “for this deployment and An Garda Síochána will announce further details as appropriate.”

All Garda members will carry out patrols in France in uniform with French police officers and assist in investigating complaints or offenses involving Irish nationals, such as in fan zones and other locations.

An Garda Síochána has previously deployed Garda members at similar major sporting events. A total of eight Garda members, two deployments of four, were deployed to France for the Rugby World Cup last year.

About 35,000 police and gendarmes are expected to be mobilized each day during the Games, with a peak of 45,000 for the opening ceremony on July 26, according to Britain’s National Police Chiefs’ Council.

Increased tensions in the Middle East will heighten concerns that the Games could be a target for terrorists, and international intelligence agencies are working closely to prevent such incidents.

Previously, Garda members were deployed to France in July and August 2023 and 2022 to assist French police in their contacts with Irish nationals visiting the area.

This deployment is similar to arrangements in other parts of France where police officers from different countries are temporarily deployed.

The Garda statement said: “This international deployment demonstrates the commitment of An Garda Síochána and Ireland to international police cooperation as set out by the EU in the Council Decision, commonly referred to as PRUM.

“(They) are particularly relevant during world events that attract large numbers of citizens from one country to another, such as the Summer Olympics and Paralympics, and further demonstrate An Garda Síochána’s commitment to protecting Irish citizens.”

Joint patrols have many benefits, not least the high visibility of their subjects visiting the event or venue, gardaí point out.

Garda chiefs pointed out that such deployments could also be seen as ‘learning opportunities’ for members of both countries and could increase the knowledge and experience of both teams on issues such as ‘community engagement, cultural sensitivity and methodologies used’ .