Belfast Telegraph

Security ramped up ahead of Trump visit

Donald Trump in Ireland in 2014, three years before becoming President
Donald Trump in Ireland in 2014, three years before becoming President

By Pat Flynn

Towers will be erected around the Doonbeg golf course as part of a massive security operation being mounted for the visit of US President Donald Trump to the Republic.

Members of the Irish Defence Forces arrived at the Trump family's hotel and golf resort in west Clare yesterday, where the President and his wife will stay during their visit.

Meanwhile, companies based in the vicinity of Shannon Airport have been requested to submit details of employees and other persons who are expected to visit their premises while President Trump is in Clare.

While the White House only confirmed on Tuesday night that the President will arrive in Ireland on June 5, gardai were deployed at Shannon Airport and Trump International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg last week in anticipation of the announcement. While uniformed and plain-clothed gardai have been monitoring traffic entering Shannon Airport where Air Force One will land, officers are carrying out similar duties at Trump International in Doonbeg where President Trump and the First Lady will stay during their visit.

Gardai are patrolling the 400-acre property in both marked and unmarked vehicles while officers are also monitoring traffic movements onto the site and around the hotel itself.

Yesterday members of the Defence Forces arrived at the golf resort and are expected to play a part in the massive security operation that will be mounted there. All three arms of the Defence Forces are expected to be involved.

Sources have also confirmed that towers constructed of scaffolding will be erected around the golf course to provide US Secret Service personnel and gardai with an elevated view of the golf course.

Similar towers were erected for police snipers when Mr Trump visited Scotland last year.

Motorway maintenance crews working on behalf of Traffic Infrastructure Ireland (TII) have been requested to count and mark every manhole cover and drain on the N19 and M18 along which the substantial presidential cavalcade will travel.

Once this task has been completed, it's believed that members of the Army Engineers Corps will move in and weld each of the metal covers in place.

When the welding operation has been completed, the seals will be checked and double-checked before the Presidential motorcade travels the route.

The measures are similar to those undertaken ahead of the visit of President George W Bush in 2004.

Sources have also said that gardai will be posted on the side of the motorway at 500m intervals while officers will take up positions on all flyovers and interchanges along the N19 and M18 sections of the route. It's also understood that two possible routes from Shannon Airport to Doonbeg have been identified.

A truck carrying new golf buggies arrived at the golf course yesterday morning. It's believed they will be required to transport the large numbers of security personnel around the golf course when Mr Trump plays there.

Mr Trump will hold a bilateral meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Shannon when he arrives.

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