Security tight ahead of Pence visit to Clare

Security tight ahead of Pence visit to Clare

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U.S. Vice-President's cavalcade arrives in Doonbeg

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence's cavalade arrives at Trump Internation in Doonbeg – Entire cavalcade took over three minutes to pass.

Posted by The Clare Herald on Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Update:

2.05pm – Two United States Air Force C-32A aircraft carrying Mr Pence and his party are currently en route to Shannon from Warsaw, Poland.

4.00pm – Air Force Two landed at 3.56pm.

7.00pm – After being met at Shannon Airport by national and local public representatives, Mr Pence’s extensive cavalcade made the one-hour journey to Trump International Hotel and Golf Resort in Doonbeg under the watchful eye of the Garda Air Support Unit.

Earlier: Security is tight in Co Clare today ahead of an official visit to Ireland by U.S. vice-president Mike Pence.

Mr Pence will be met at Shannon Airport by Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and Mayor of Clare Councillor Cathal Crowe when Air Force Two touches down at around 3.30pm.

Mr Coveney is expected to hold a brief meeting with Mr Pence at Shannon, while the vice-president will attend a number of official functions in Dublin tomorrow. He is expected to visit President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uactharáin before meeting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at Farmleigh House.

Following formalities at Shannon Airport this afternoon, Mr Pence will travel by road to President Donald Trump’s hotel and golf resort in Doonbeg where security is also tight.

While security at Shannon Airport isn’t as tight as it was for the visit of president Donald Trump in June, airport authorities are advising passengers to allow an extra 15 minutes for their journey. They have pointed out however that it’s business-as-usual at the airport.

Gardaí have been stopping vehicles at the entrance to the airport since earlier today while significant Garda foot and mobile patrols are visible in the vicinity of the airport and adjacent industrial estate.

As part of the security operation, which is expected to cost up to €5m, additional fencing has also been erected along a section of the main approach road to the airport in anticipation of any possible protest against the visit. However, while it’s understood that no such protest is expected, the Garda public order unit will remain on standby in Shannon.

Members of the Garda Public Order Unit arriving in Shannon today – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2019

It is understood that Amnesty International will be hold a protest against the visit in Dublin tomorrow.

Mr Pence has already said he will reconnect with his Irish roots during a two-day stay which wasn’t originally due to take place until the weekend. It’s expected that Mr and Mrs Pence will host a private family dinner in the village where he will meet with relatives.

Gardaí have said there should be minimal disruption to the public during the visit but confirmed there will be some diversions in Doonbeg village for a time tomorrow evening with just local access allowed.

 

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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