Belfast Telegraph

Tight security at Blair book event

Tony Blair is due to hold a public book signing, the first since his memoirs were released this week.

The book, A Journey, tells of his life in politics and has become one of the fastest selling autobiographies on record.

The former British prime minister, who gave his first live television interview to RTE on Friday night, is expected to spend about an hour in Eason's bookstore in Dublin.

Anti-war protesters have planned a demonstration outside the O'Connell Street shop, which is to be locked down amid tight security.

Eager readers attending the signing have also been issued with specific instructions and will be given wristbands after passing through the cordon.

Mr Blair revealed on Friday night the Northern Ireland peace process was one of the few moments in politics he felt really proud.

The Middle East peace envoy described watching former Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness sitting together publicly for the first time.

"It was just such a strange and extraordinary sight and one of the few times in politics I felt really proud actually," Mr Blair said.

Meanwhile, Mr Blair's handlers have told those attending the signing they will have to check in all bags, including purses and phones into a holding point. There will be no customer photography and no personal dedications. They have also been told there is no guarantee a wristband will ensure a signed book.

Three stallholders normally pitched outside Eason's have demanded compensation after being told to close down during the signing. The newspaper vendor, fruit seller and a women's accessories stall holder said they are unhappy they will lose out on business on a Saturday morning.

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