Mary Kenny: Gardai did great job for royals but blanket security is too unwieldy
I can't think of anyone who wasn't impressed by the way the gardai carried out their security duties last week, and will do so again this week.
They really were wonderful: unfailingly polite and good-tempered, too, in the face of occasional exasperated responses from some of us. I feel somewhat ashamed of the way in which I sometimes berated kindly young country guards around Dublin Castle because they insisted I walked the long way around to the back, Ship Street, entrance, instead of the 10 yards into the media centre via the front. I was late for a BBC radio interview and I thought common sense and the plethora of identity papers I had on me would let me slip through, but it was not to be. Rules were rules.
It was a tense afternoon, hours before the President's banquet for the queen, and the constabulary had their orders. An angry, raggle-taggle band of mainly young men supporting the dissident IRA movements were on the march. And, as I say, the guards themselves remained unflappable and courteous at all times. Moreover, the security operation was an unqualified success in that our visitors came to no harm.