All Irish passengers flying to the U.S. face pat downs and searches of hand luggage in Irish airports, and the Department of Transport says that the rigorous security checks will last as long as necessary.
However, Irish authorities are not installing controversial body scanning equipment. This may cause further delays, as body scanning is a faster and more efficient searching method than a physical pat down.
The Department of Transport said that the EU had not yet approved the body scan technology. U.S. authorities are hopeful that the Council of EU ministers will approve the technology in coming weeks.
There is also a growing concern that Islamic extremists could compromise the common travel area between Ireland and the UK.
The UK is a target for Islamic terrorists, and British Labour MP Andrew MacKinlay asked the UK Borders Agency if they currently shared information about suspected Islamic extremists with the Irish police.
MacKinlay said that by entering the North of Ireland via the Republic, barred extremists could then easily enter mainland Britain undetected.
A UK Borders Agency spokesperson confirmed, “the UK Border Agency shares immigration watch lists with the Irish Government."
The spokesperson also said that legislation was needed to "make the border between the UK and the Republic stronger than ever."
Ireland's Department of Justice said there was “close and ongoing co-operation . . . between An Garda Síochána and the UK authorities.”
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