independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Garda chiefs draw up list of hardline G8 protesters

PSNI officers in training ahead of the G8 meeting
PSNI officers in training ahead of the G8 meeting

GARDA anti-terror chiefs are compiling a list of troublemakers planning to disrupt the G8 summit of world leaders.

Officers are liaising with police and security agencies in the US, UK and across Europe to help them draw up a dossier on hardline protest groups who have been involved in provoking riots at previous G8 summits.

The demonstrators will add to the security headache already provided by international and domestic terrorist groups.

Although the summit is being held across the Border at Lough Erne Resort in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, on June 17 and 18, gardai will play a major role in the security preparations.

The main international figures at the summit will all be located in the North for the two-day visit.

TROUBLEMAKERS

US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are among those expected to attend the event hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron.

But the huge number of back-up staff and officials means that hotels from Donegal to Leitrim, Monaghan and Cavan will accommodate them.

Gardai fear some of the likely troublemakers may fly into Dublin or Shannon airports, and a close watch will be kept on arrivals over the next couple of weeks.

Garda Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny is the strategic commander here, and is working with his PSNI counterpart, Assistant Chief Constable Alistair Finlay, to maximise co-operation between the two forces.

Senior garda officers made it clear last night that, despite the outbreaks of violence at past summits, they intend to facilitate protests if they are staged in accordance with the law.

One officer told the Irish Independent: "Protesters will be asked to respect the responsibilities that come with their right to demonstrate and we request that they co-operate with the agencies facilitating them."

A series of permanent and rolling checkpoints will be mounted in the border counties, and patrols are being stepped up in the region in the run-up to the summit, while the Naval Service will help garda units with water patrols, backed up by the Air Corps.

But gardai say there are no plans for road closures or diversions in the Republic.

Specialist units will be on standby to implement the anti-terrorist measures that were worked out two years ago for the visits here of Mr Obama and Queen Elizabeth.

Separate security plans are also being finalised for the intended visit by Michelle Obama and family to Moneygall on the border of Offaly and north Tipperary.

Irish Independent

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