Shannon Airport security cost €1.4m last year
Published 18/04/2016 | 02:30
It cost the State more than €27,000 per week last year to provide security to US military aircraft and personnel passing through Shannon Airport.
New figures provided by acting Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and acting Defence Minister Simon Coveney show that gardaí and the Army spent just over €1.4m on providing security to the US military at Shannon last year.
Since 2000, more than two and a half million US troops have passed through Shannon.
In a written Dáil reply to Independent Deputies Clare Daly and Mick Wallace, Ms Fitzgerald confirmed that the State last year spent €1.23m relating to the gardaí providing protection at Shannon, while the Army bill came to €180,000.
The minister said: "The deployment of gardaí at Shannon Airport is aimed primarily at protecting the safety of passengers and other people working at and using the airport.
"I am informed by the garda authorities that the cost to An Garda Síochána of deployment at Shannon Airport was €1.23m in 2015 comprising salaries and other pay and non-pay-related expenditure."
Mr Coveney confirmed the Army spend at €180,814 for the year. This included payment of allowances to personnel, rations and fuel costs. The army costs work out at €3,461 per week on average. The average weekly garda costs work out at €23,673.
Deputies Daly and Wallace appeared in court on Friday as witnesses for peace activist Dr Ed Horgan (70), where a judge dismissed a charge that he had illegally entered a restricted area at Shannon Airport when trying to inspect four US military aircraft last year.