Fianna Fáil Science and Technology spokesperson James Lawless TD has called on the Government to prioritise the National Cyber Security Centre following media reports that Russian intelligence services have increased their activities in Ireland to spy on technology, engineering, and scientific sectors.

Deputy Lawless said, “It was concerning to read that Gardaí now regard Russia’s GRU military intelligence agency as a national security problem.

“Very recently I raised the importance of the National Cyber Security Centre with the Minister for Communications Denis Naughten and the need for Government to strengthen its capabilities. However his response left a lot to be desired. Ireland attracts a huge amount of foreign direct investment from companies in the tech industry. Having met with stakeholders in the industry it is clear that a robust National Cyber Security Centre is a necessity which the Government are failing to deliver.

“All EU member states, including Ireland, must have the National Information Security Directive in place by May 8th of this year. This directive aims to boost of the overall cyber-security across the EU. When questioned, Minister Naugthen could only acknowledge this directive was incoming but gave no substance to what his Department intend to do about it.

“Failure to adequately resource our National Cyber Security Centre could be disastrous. Businesses are calling for a comprehensive centre to deal with cyber threats, we have seen wide ranging cyber-attacks on Irish public service websites last year, and now it is reported that GRU military intelligence agency is operating in Ireland less than 6km from Government Buildings. The Government must immediately direct resources to cyber security capabilities,” concluded Deputy Lawless.