Large Longford garda contingent in €10m 'Ring of Steel' to protect Trump

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Donald Trump

A large contingent of Longford Gardaí are in Limerick and Clare this week to provide security to US president Donald Trump

Close to 30 Longford Gardaí have been assigned to counties Limerick and Clare this week ahead of US President Donald Trump's two night stopover in Ireland.

In a massive security operation which is believed to have cost the taxpayer around €10m, Longford based personnel took part in ensuring a huge ‘ring of steel’ was in place for the duration of Mr Trump’s stay.

Around 1,000 gardaí were drafted in from several counties and districts across the country to ensure Mr Trump and his wife Melania’s holiday went off without incident.

The Leader understands three units from Longford’s Garda District were called in, including officers attached to the Drugs and Traffic corps.

Gardaí from Ballymahon were also detailed to provide security cover in a major security operation with the Air Corps, Army and Navy.

Much of the spotlight has surrounded the sheer scale of the operation with many sceptics calling into question its appropriateness.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar attempted to play down the large sums involved, claiming Mr Trump’s visit was an important milestone in the close ties between both countries.

"I do think Shannon and Co Clare are good places to visit. I think that's a good message going to America,” he said.

“Much more important than security costs is the relationship between Ireland and the United States.

“A massive economic power. A massive political power. The good bilateral relationship between Ireland and America is worth a lot more than €10m.”

At a press conference held at Shannon Airport before the US President touched down yesterday evening, Chief Superintendent Michael Gubbins said 1,500 gardaí were on the ground for the duration of the billionaire’s visit.

He said it was “quite a large operation” and that the last time they had one of this scale was the visit of former US President George Bush in 2004.