File photo via Irish Defence Forces
The Irish Defence Forces this lunchtime issued a statement that it has notified personnel "of the impending change to our force posture and all non-essential activities have been suspended".
The statement comes in the wake of the Taoiseach's announcement this morning that all schools, universities and childcare facilities will be shut from this evening in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus, or Covid-19, in Ireland.
Said the statement: "Our focus now is to maximise our preparedness to respond to requests for assistance from the Civil Authorities. Protecting our personnel is our priority and is key to maintaining our capability to provide support to communities and civil authorities, when requested."
It said that for operational security reasons, "we will not comment on specific dispositions of troops or on internal unit procedures at this time".
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