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Security tight as William and Kate visit Republic of Ireland


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the red carpet

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the red carpet

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the red carpet

A well-oiled security operation has swung into action in the Republic ahead of the visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tomorrow.

As third in line to the throne, William and his future queen Kate will have high-level security in place for their visit, which runs until Thursday.

Temporary road closures will ensure smooth travel for the couple and the Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU) will be responsible for driving the couple around, although it is expected they will bring their own armoured vehicle.

As part of these security measures, prior to their arrival at certain locations, drains will be welded shut on public streets to ensure explosives can't be planted in them, sources have said.

For all public walkabouts Garda sniper teams will be deployed on rooftops. A proposed walkabout in Galway, which will involve meeting local business owners and community leaders, is expected to be the biggest logistical nightmare.

Garda notified city traders that road closures will be in place from 6am to 2pm.

Royal protection officers from the Metropolitan Police will accompany the Cambridges, working with a team of 12 members of the elite ERU, who will oversee day-to-day security and are trained in close protection and overseeing security for VIPs.

As the official Irish State guesthouse, it is believed Kate and William will stay at Farmleigh House, following in the footsteps of his grandmother the Queen, and his brother and sister-in-law Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Emperor and Empress of Japan.

The total cost of the visit is estimated at upwards of €1m (£860,000), according to sources. The Queen's security cost an estimated €20m (£17.3m) in 2011 in what was considered an unprecedented amount given the level of risk and attention involved.

The Sussexes' security cost the Irish taxpayer €300,000 (£260,000) over the course of 36 hours, and Prince Charles' May 2017 visit totalled just over €2m (£1.73m).

During Prince Charles' myriad visits over recent years, gardai carried out security sweeps of surrounding areas, with affected members of the public notified in advance.

In Dublin the royal couple will visit President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and political leaders, and they are also expected to visit megalithic tombs in Co Meath.

Belfast Telegraph