Thursday, June 24, 2004

beating around Bush - Press release

Planning for the visit of President Bush and the EU/US Summit has been ongoing for some months and has involved apart from senior Gardaí, the Defence forces and security services from the United States of America. The Garda Commissioner with his senior officers finalised plans for the visit on Monday 21st June at Garda Headquarters.

President George. W. Bush arrives with the First Lady at Shannon Airport at 8.15 p.m. on Friday 25th June, 2004 and is scheduled to depart at 3.00 p.m. on Saturday 26th June, 2004.

The security operation, which has been put in place, is to ensure the safety of all persons attending the summit and in particular the President.

Upwards of 4000 Gardaí will be deployed during the course of the EU/US Summit and they will be augmented by the Defence Forces.

A number of protests are planned to take place during the course of the event both in Dublin and Shannon itself. The Gardaí will afford every facility to protest groups during this time. Every person has a right to protest peacefully within the law and it is only when people engage in criminal activity that An Garda Síochána have to deal with the situation.
In this regard the Gardaí are determined to prevent criminality and public disorder and will ensure a prompt and effective response. Temporary CCTV cameras will be erected at the proposed protest sites and all activities will be monitored. The Garda Air Support will also supply video footage of all activities from the air. Three Garda Command Centres have been established and are sited at Shannon Airport, Dromoland Castle and Shannon Garda Station.

Special arrangements have been put in place for residents, employees and visitors to the Shannon area during this time but because of the extensive security operation it is envisaged that ordinary members of the public may experience some delays. This is unavoidable and regrettable.

We have again secured the services from our colleagues in the P.S.N.I. of two water cannons, which will be on stand by in Shannon. Public Order Units will also be on stand by at different locations in the Shannon area but will only be utilised in the event of difficulties in normal policing methods being experienced.

Special arrangements have been made for the detention of prisoners in Limerick Prison. A unit in Shannon Industrial Estate has been designated as a Garda Station/Courthouse and Detention Centre to ensure the smooth and timely processing of prisoners.

Part of the security operation has involved the security of all primary and secondary routes which entailed the checking of water mains, man holes, gully traps, culverts, bridges, livestock underpasses, wildlife underpasses and walkways etc.,

There is also an ongoing liaison between the ourselves and the American Security Services. Assistant Commissioner Dermot Jennings of the Western Region will be in overall charge of the operation


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