Ireland has been connected to the Schengen Information System (SIS II), which allows law-enforcement agencies across 30 countries to share and check information.
The system gives police forces and other agencies access to data on:
- Wanted persons,
- Missing persons,
- Persons who may not have the right to enter or stay in the EU,
- Objects or vehicles that may have been stolen, misappropriated, or lost.
The EU Council approved Ireland’s connection in December, and it became fully operational yesterday (15 March).
New garda bureau
Ireland remains outside the Schengen common travel area, but takes part in some policing co-operation arrangements that are part of the Schengen Agreement.
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said Ireland’s connection to SIS II would be a “game-changer” for gardaí in their fight against cross-border crime.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris (pictured) said the benefits that SIS II would bring to policing in Ireland could not be understated.
Gardaí have had to build and test the IT infrastructure and develop the training needed to complete the connection to SIS II.
A new SIRENE Bureau (Supplementary Information Request at the National Entries) within the force will be responsible for the daily management of the SIS system.