Village to be sealed off for queen's stud visit
Published 10/05/2011 | 05:00
A VILLAGE will be cut in two during Queen Elizabeth's visit next week.
Roads around Kilcullen in Co Kildare will be sealed off and streets shut down as the British monarch travels to the county to visit two of Ireland's leading studs.
The highlight of her four-hour journey to Co Kildare will be a walk to the stallion shed at Gilltown Stud to visit one of the greatest racehorses of all-time, Sea the Stars.
Formerly trained by John Oxx on the Curragh, Sea the Stars won six group one races as a three-year-old in 2009 and has been described by Mr Oxx as "the point to which thoroughbred breeding has arrived after 300 years".
The queen, who is a keen racegoer and the owner of several outstanding horses in the past, will see the Irish star at Gilltown Stud, which is located outside Kilcullen. The stud is owned by the Aga Khan, who will host a special private reception for his distinguished guest.
The queen will begin her trip to Kildare on Thursday week with a journey down the M7 motorway to the National Stud in Kildare town.
She will spend about half an hour at the stud, where she will meet leading representatives of the Irish horseracing industry.
As part of the security arrangements, the National Stud and adjacent Japanese Gardens will be closed to the public from Tuesday to Thursday next week and will re-open on Friday.
The queen's cavalcade will then travel across the Curragh plains and through Athgarvan and Kilcullen before arriving at Gilltown, where a guided tour of the stud will be followed by the reception.
Residents living along the route of her proposed itinerary are being interviewed by gardai and asked to give details of the occupants of the houses and their likely whereabouts during the planned visit.
A number of alternative routes have also been drawn up by senior garda officers in their contingency planning.
Six hundred gardai will be deployed along the routes within the county as officers prepare for four days of what is being called the biggest saturation policing operation ever mounted on the island.
Officers said that peaceful protests would be policed in the normal manner, but anybody attempting to block the cavalcade or interfere with arrangements would not be tolerated.