Friday 24 February 2017

PSNI share information with gardai ahead of queen's visit

Tom Brady Security Editor

ANTI-terrorist intelligence obtained by the PSNI is to be made available to gardai to help prevent a dissident republican threat in the run up to the queen's visit in May.

The massive security operation for the visit was discussed yesterday by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott on the margins of an informal ministerial meeting at Stormont in Belfast.

Mr Callinan said later that contingency planning for the queen's visit and the arrival of US President Barack Obama, also in May, was already well under way.

Gardai are monitoring the movements of active members of groups such as the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA and gathering intelligence to thwart any plans for a terrorist attack to grab international headlines prior to the visit.

Mr Callinan said the chief constable had offered whatever help his force could supply to the gardai.

Experience

He pointed out that the gardai were not without experience in protecting VIPs.

The two police chiefs also briefed Justice Minister Alan Shatter and his Northern counterpart, David Ford, on the on-going dissident threat.

Mr Shatter said he had been struck by the high level of co-operation between the two police forces.

He pledged that the two governments would not allow the small number of people to distract them from the progress that had been made.

"What the so-called dissidents are dissenting from is democracy," the minister said.

Mr Shatter said he believed there were "very, very many people across Ireland looking forward to the queen's visit".

Mr Baggott warned that the risk posed by the dissidents remained severe.

The meeting also discussed issues ranging from probation to youth justice, forensic science and sex offenders.

Irish Independent

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