The Directorate of Military Intelligence ("J2") (Irish: Stiúrthóireacht na Faisnéise) is the military intelligence branch of the Defence Forces, the Irish armed forces, and the national intelligence service of Ireland. The organisation has responsibility for the safety and security of the Irish Defence Forces, its personnel, and supporting the national security of Ireland. The directorate operates domestic and foreign intelligence sections, providing intelligence to the Government of Ireland concerning threats to the security of the state and the national interest from internal and external sources.
Military Intelligence is a constituent part of Defence Forces Headquarters (DFHQ) and is the intelligence section of all Defence Forces branches. The Directorate of Military Intelligence draws staff from the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps. The Irish military special operations forces, the Army Ranger Wing (ARW), carries out physical tasks in support of Military Intelligence in Ireland and overseas, and the Communications and Information Services Corps (CIS) provides technical and electronic support. "J2" works closely with the Garda Síochána Special Detective Unit (SDU), the national police counter-terrorism and counter-espionage unit.
Directorate of Military Intelligence
|Irish: Stiúrthóireacht na Faisnéise|
Badge of the Irish Defence Forces
Security of critical infrastructure
|Part of||Defence Forces|
|Garrison/HQ||McKee Barracks, Dublin|
|Director of Military Intelligence ("D J2")||Currently unknown|
The duties of the Defence Forces Directorate of Military Intelligence are;
The Directorate of Military Intelligence staffs members drawn from the entire Defence Forces (Army, Naval Service and Air Corps), who then serve on a full-time basis with J2. Military Intelligence personnel regularly train, liaise and deploy with foreign intelligence, government and non-government agencies to share knowledge and best practice. This ensures they keep abreast of threats and are able to collate essential intelligence to further protect the state, the Defence Forces and its interests. The service is under the command of a Colonel, known as the Director of Military Intelligence, who provides regular intelligence briefings to the Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations), Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces and the Secretary General of the Department of Defence. The Director provides a monthly intelligence briefing in-person to the Minister for Defence. The Chief of Staff briefs the cabinet on matters of state security, as well as the secretive National Security Committee (NSC).
The organisation's number of employees and budget are classified, with a further 150-200 operatives in the Army Ranger Wing (ARW), who can conduct missions at the behest of Military Intelligence. Funding comes from the overall Department of Defence budget (€1.16 billion in 2012). The only publicly known funding is that for the budget to pay confidential informants, through the "Secret Service" budget, which is shared with the Garda Crime & Security Branch (CSB). In 2014, this figure was €1 million. Operatives from the Directorate of Military Intelligence can carry firearms on operations both at home and abroad, and those in the Directorate may not wear uniforms on operations. The Garda Special Detective Unit (SDU) works closely with the Intelligence Branch on domestic matters. Military Intelligence operates out of a number of locations in Dublin and County Kildare, and their headquarters are understood to be based at McKee Barracks, Dublin and the Department of Defence Headquarters in Newbridge, County Kildare. The latter is rumoured to house sophisticated modern technology for espionage, the building was completed in 2010 after a number of years of construction, at a cost of €30 million. Intelligence and language training takes place at the Military College, Defence Forces Training Centre (DFTC), Curragh Camp.
The Directorate of Military Intelligence Defence Intelligence (DI) Section is staffed by military commissioned and non-commissioned officers. It is tasked with providing intelligence support to the Defence Forces. Staff actively monitor relevant political, economic, social and military situations globally to produce intelligence reports and strategic studies to support operations. Personnel in this section can be found briefing all the way up to the Minister for Defence. The Directorate is responsible for conducting background checks of all Defence Forces personnel through close cooperation with the Garda National Vetting Bureau (GNVB). The Defence Intelligence Section is tasked with keeping members of the Defence Forces safe, be it in Ireland or abroad during active military engagements. The Army Ranger Wing Intelligence Section deploys in foreign countries alongside Military Intelligence soldiers during Irish military deployments, which are generally peacekeeping missions on behalf of the United Nations, European Union and NATO (Partnership for Peace), due to Ireland's policy of military neutrality.
The Directorate of Military Intelligence National Security Intelligence Section (NSIS) deals with threats to the state and the Defence Forces. This includes identifying, monitoring and assessing possible threats to the state and Irish national interests at home and abroad, be it by hostile intelligence services, terrorist groups and/or criminal organisations. Counter-intelligence forms a large part of the section's remit, in addition to fulfilling counter-terrorist, counter-subversion, counter-insurgency, counter-sabotage roles, and physical security of critical infrastructure. The National Security Intelligence Section works very closely with the Garda SDU and Garda National Surveillance Unit (NSU) to spy on potential terrorism threats, particularly from Islamic terrorists and dissident republicans. Military Intelligence have a number of Arabic speakers in their ranks as a result of Defence Forces deployments overseas.
Separately, outside of Defence Forces Headquarters, the Naval Service maintains a Naval Intelligence Cell within its Intelligence and Fishery Section at Naval Operations Command, Haulbowline Naval Base, Cork Harbour, which is responsible for the collection, collation and dissemination of Naval Intelligence. The Air Corps maintains an Air Intelligence Section at its HQ at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, Dublin responsible for aviation intelligence. Army Brigades maintain their own regional intelligence function - designation "G2" - reporting into J2.
Founded in the mid-1920s following the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the Office of the Directorate of Intelligence was originally the intelligence arm of the Irish Army, hence its code-name "G2", which is a designation in NATO's continental staff system used to refer to an army intelligence, security, and information branch. Later the Directorate became the intelligence service for the entire Irish armed forces, hence it is now referred to as "J2" (which refers to joint services, i.e. the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps) and took on more national security roles. G2 spent much of its early efforts combating the Anti-Treaty IRA, in the Republic of Ireland, and also operated in Northern Ireland.
G2 first came to public attention during World War II (1939-1945), known in Ireland as The Emergency. Although Ireland had a policy of military neutrality and was "non-belligerent" during WWII, G2 formed secret agreements with the United Kingdom's Military Intelligence Section 5 (MI5) and the United States' Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). During this period, G2 intercepted German naval and aerial communications through listening stations located across Ireland, sharing the information with Allied forces. Under the legendary Colonel Daniel "Dan" Bryan, Director of Intelligence, G2 apprehended all thirteen Nazi spies sent to Ireland, notably Hermann Görtz, and broke German codes during the war, under the supervision of cryptologist Richard J. Hayes.
During this period, G2 also undertook intelligence operations in Europe, including a notable covert mission in April 1943 where G2 officers travelled to neutral Portugal by flying boat, using the cover of the Irish Red Cross delivering supplies to refugees in Spain, in order to gather information on the Irish minister (precursor to ambassador) in Madrid whom the Irish government had become increasingly suspicious about, due to his close links with Germany. Leopold H. Kerney had been visited by Edmund Veesenmayer, a senior Waffen-SS officer, who was one of the main Nazis involved in plotting secret Nazi operations in Ireland. G2 made contact with British spies in Lisbon and Madrid and concluded that Kerney was in fact neutral.
In August 1969 Taoiseach Jack Lynch asked Irish Army Intelligence to draft proposals for a military intervention and guerilla operations in Northern Ireland in order to protect Irish nationalists there from sectarian attack from Ulster loyalist mobs, under a plan known as Exercise Armageddon. However it was deemed unworkable and was not adopted by the cabinet. Nationalist areas were later given a form of protection by British forces under Operation Banner.
In 1970, the Arms Crisis and subsequent trial engulfed the state in a political scandal in which Irish Army intelligence officer Captain James Kelly was implicated in an unauthorised covert operation with the knowledge of Minister for Finance Charles Haughey and Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries Neil Blaney whereby £50,000 of a secret Irish government humanitarian fund of £100,000 (which had been set-up to help refugees fleeing Northern Ireland) was diverted and used to illegally import and smuggle arms and ammunitions for the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). The Garda Special Branch became aware of the unsanctioned operation and informed Minister for Justice Mícheál Ó Móráin and Taoiseach Lynch, who were slow to take action. Sensing this inaction, the Special Branch leaked the information to the press and the leader of the opposition Fine Gael leader Liam Cosgrave, who put pressure on Lynch to act. This resulted in Ministers Haughey (who later became Taoiseach) and Blaney being sacked from their posts, Captain Kelly was forced to resign, and the subsequent trial of all three in which the case collapsed and they were cleared of charges.
J2 has been deployed numerous times alongside Irish forces on peacekeeping duties globally, mainly to ensure the safety and security of Irish troops, but also to provide intelligence on hostile forces. It is considered one of the most secretive intelligence agencies in Europe, and the Irish government and Defence Forces rarely allude to its very existence.
Following the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001, the Directorate of Military Intelligence significantly expanded their operations both internally and externally to provide the Irish government with a better intelligence picture in relation to terror threats emanating from al-Qaeda and affiliated groups, working with western partners. The 2004 Madrid train bombings (11-M) in Spain and 7 July 2005 London bombings in the United Kingdom also saw an increase in the budget and deployments of Irish intelligence officers.
The service came to national and international attention in late 2005, when Arabic-speaking intelligence officers from the Directorate of Military Intelligence were deployed in Iraq, alongside heavily armed Irish Army Rangers, following the kidnapping of Irish journalist Rory Carroll in Baghdad by militants. Following the intervention of Irish, British and American governments, Rory Carroll was released unharmed days later and returned safely to Dublin.
From 2006 to 2014, it has been reported that Military Intelligence and ARW Intelligence Section operatives were on the ground in; Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of various international missions. The Directorate receives intelligence reports from civil servants posted at Irish diplomatic missions overseas, via the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Irish Military Intelligence works closely with the British Security Service (MI5) and Secret Intelligence Service (SIS/MI6), American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA), and is understood to have a relationship with Israeli Mossad.
The Defence Forces and Garda Síochána provide security briefings to Department of Foreign Affairs employees and their families regarding potential terrorist attacks in host countries they are posted to.
It has been alleged that Ireland facilitated the CIA's extraordinary rendition program of terrorism suspects in the aftermath of 9/11, including the secret detention and interrogation of suspects. It is claimed that Irish airports Casement Aerodrome (military) and Shannon International Airport (civilian) – used by the US military as stopover hubs – have been used by the CIA for rendition operations, with support from the Irish government.
Military Intelligence and the Garda Special Detective Unit's Middle Eastern Desk are tasked with monitoring potential jihadists in Ireland and Irish citizens who fight abroad in warzones – specifically Syria and Iraq – for Muslim extremist organisations such as the self-proclaimed "Islamic State".
Ireland is not believed to engage in mass surveillance – as has been alleged in other western countries – however, it is reported to be a member of the ECHELON SIGINT (signals intelligence) network, sharing and receiving information with its members (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States). The Defence Forces CIS Corps is jointly responsible with the Military Intelligence Directorate for SIGINT and cyber operations within the Defence Forces.
According to the Department of Defence: "The Defence Forces adheres to the provisions of all legislation regulating the conduct of intelligence gathering. The Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages (Regulation) Act 1993 does provide the Defence Forces with the authority to conduct intelligence led operations involving surveillance, electronic communications and stored electronic information in order to safeguard and maintain the security of the State. The Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Act 2009 also provides for surveillance to be conducted by the Defence Forces in order to safeguard the security of the State."
The Directorate of Military Intelligence ceased the practice of providing transcripts of intercepts on mobile phone calls, landlines, texts and emails and other raw intelligence to the CIA in 2011/2012. It now provides information on Irish residents to foreign intelligence services through a mutual assistance programme instead. A warrant signed by the Minister for Defence or Minister for Justice is required to intercept a telephone call or email of an Irish citizen.
J2 maintains a secured information technology network and a registry of classified documentation. All intelligence electronically transmitted to J2 from abroad comes via secured data links to the Army's Intelligence Comcen (Communications Centre), where messages are encrypted and electronically logged before being passed on for analysis. J2's computer systems are linked with the Garda CSB for the purpose of information share and cross-analysis.
A report in late 2018 found that the Defence Forces had received 1,380 disclosures of communication data (mobile, landline and internet) based on requests to phone and internet firms over the five years 2013 to 2017 under the powers of the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011. The Defence Forces can only seek data for state security - and averaging more than 5 requests per week - they were the next biggest user of such data after the Garda Síochána, ahead of the Revenue Commissioners and Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission.
Individuals can apply to be selected for the Directorate of Military Intelligence, and they must be Officers or NCOs to be considered for appointment. Unlike a number of similar military forces, the Irish Defence Forces actively include intelligence as part of Officer and NCO education, but those selected to join the Directorate receive further specialist training. The Defence Forces run their own Defence Intelligence & Security Course (DISC). The course runs for a number of months and covers the main areas of intelligence operations, including the principles of intelligence operations, defence intelligence, intelligence analysis, and combat intelligence. The course is supported by additional "on-the-job" training as part of the Directorate. This includes additional weapons, surveillance and communications training to support ongoing operations. Further training in languages is available, and specialist training on sensitive subjects such as religion, culture, ethnicity and radicalisation are also provided. Members of the Intelligence Branch may also receive further training with friendly forces overseas, such as in imagery intelligence.
The Directorate of Military Intelligence consists of a high proportion of commissioned officers, most of whom will enter J2 with third level education, a Level 7 or Level 8 Bachelor's degree as per modern Defence Forces education standards and may go on to undertake further academic studies (such as a Level 9 Masters or higher) in a relevant field.
J2, the Irish Defence Forces’ military-intelligence service [..] used to be known as G2; it was renamed because of its connection, jointly, to the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service.
Directorate of Intelligence may refer to:
CIA Directorate of Intelligence, former name for CIA's Directorate of Analysis
Directorate of Intelligence (UK)
Directorate of Military Intelligence (Ireland)Directorate of Military Intelligence
Directorate of Military Intelligence or Military Intelligence Directorate may refer to:
Directorate of Military Intelligence (India)
Directorate of Military Intelligence (Ireland)
Directorate of Military Intelligence (Nepal)
Directorate of Military Intelligence (Sri Lanka)
Directorate of Military Intelligence (United Kingdom)
Military Intelligence Directorate (Israel)
Military Intelligence (Pakistan)
Military Intelligence Directorate (Syria)Intelligence Corps
Intelligence Corps can refer to:
Intelligence Corps (United Kingdom)
Military Intelligence Corps (United States Army)
Directorate of Military Intelligence (Ireland)
New Zealand Intelligence Corps
Australian Army Intelligence Corps
Canadian Intelligence Corps
Israeli Intelligence CorpsNiall Harrington
Niall Charles Harrington (23 January 1901 – 18 September 1981), born in Dublin, was an Irish soldier, officer, military intelligence director, writer and broadcaster, campaigner for the memory of Charles Stuart Parnell and a union representative. His military career spanned the period from the War of Independence through to his retirement as a senior intelligence officer in 1959.
During this time he wrote and narrated various historical features for different media.
His Civil War memoirs were developed into a book, Kerry Landing, which was extended and published posthumously.Security agency
A security agency is a governmental organization which conducts intelligence activities for the internal security of a nation. They are the domestic cousins of foreign intelligence agencies, and typically conduct counterintelligence to thwart other countries' foreign intelligence efforts. For example, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the internal intelligence, security and law enforcement agency, while the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is an external intelligence service, which deals primarily with intelligence collection overseas. A similar relationship exists in Britain between MI5 and MI6.
The distinction, or overlap, between security agencies, national police, and gendarmerie organizations varies by country. For example, in the United States, one organization, the FBI, is a national police, an internal security agency, and a counterintelligence agency. In other countries, separate agencies exist, although the nature of their work causes them to interact. For example, in France, the Police nationale and the Gendarmerie nationale both handle policing duties, and the Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur handles counterintelligence.
Likewise, the distinction, or overlap, between military and civilian security agencies varies between countries. In the United States, the FBI and CIA are civilian agencies, although they have various paramilitary traits and have professional relationships with the U.S.'s military intelligence organizations. In many countries all intelligence efforts answer to the military, whether by official design or at least on a de facto basis. Countries where various military and civilian agencies divide responsibilities tend to reorganize their efforts over the decades to force the various agencies to cooperate more effectively, integrating (or at least coordinating) their efforts with some unified directorate. For example, after many years of turf wars, the member agencies of the United States Intelligence Community are now coordinated by the Director of National Intelligence, with the hope to reduce stovepiping of information.
In Ireland, for example, intelligence operations relevant to internal security are conducted by the military (G2) and police (SDU), rather than civilian agencies.
Security agencies frequently have "security", "intelligence" or "service" in their names. Private organizations that provide services similar to a security agency might be called a "security company" or "security service", but those terms can also be used for organizations that have nothing to do with intelligence gathering.
National intelligence agencies
National intelligence agencies in Europe
|Bases & Facilities|
|Uniform and Insignia|