Thursday 20 June 2019

Sniper towers erected in Doonbeg for Trump trip

All workers near Shannon Airport set to be vetted ahead of his visit

US President Donald and First Lady Melania Trump will be staying at the Doonbeg golf resort. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
US President Donald and First Lady Melania Trump will be staying at the Doonbeg golf resort. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Prepared: Gardaí are patrolling the 400-acre hotel and golf resort in Clare where President Trump will stay. Photo: Press 22

Pat Flynn

Towers will be erected around the Doonbeg golf course as part of a massive security operation being mounted for the visit of US President Donald Trump.

Members of the Defence Forces arrived at the Trump family's hotel and golf resort in west Clare yesterday where the president and his wife will stay during their visit.

Meanwhile, companies based in the vicinity of Shannon Airport have been requested to submit details of employees and other persons who are expected to visit their premises while Mr Trump is in Co Clare.

While the White House only confirmed on Tuesday night that the president will arrive in Ireland on June 5, gardaí were deployed at Shannon Airport and Trump International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg last week in anticipation of the announcement.

Reports also suggested yesterday that Mr Trump's four adult children and their spouses would accompany him on his state visit to the UK before he touches down in Ireland. But whether his daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner - who both work in the White House - as well as his other daughter, Tiffany, his sons Donald Jr and Eric, and Eric's wife Lara will spend time in Co Clare remains to be seen.

Uniformed and plain-clothes gardaí have been monitoring traffic entering Shannon Airport, where Air Force One will land, officers are carrying out similar duties at Trump International in Doonbeg where Mr Trump and the first lady will stay during their visit.

Gardaí are patrolling the 400-acre property while officers are also monitoring traffic movements onto the site and around the hotel itself.

Yesterday, members of the Defence Forces also arrived at the golf resort and are expected to play a part in the massive security operation that will be mounted there. All three arms of the Defence Forces are expected to be involved.

Sources have also confirmed that towers constructed of scaffolding will be erected around the golf course to provide US Secret Service personnel and gardaí with an elevated view of the golf course. Similar towers were erected for police snipers when Mr Trump visited Scotland last year.

Motorway maintenance crews working on behalf of Traffic Infrastructure Ireland (TII) have been requested to count and mark every manhole cover and drain along the N19 and M18 along which the substantial presidential cavalcade will travel.

Once this task has been completed, it's believed that members of the Army Engineers Corps will move in and weld each of the metal covers in place.

When the welding operation has been completed, the seals will be checked and double-checked before the presidential motorcade travels the route.

Sources have also said that gardaí will be posted along the motorway at 500-metre intervals while officers will take up positions on all flyovers and interchanges along the N19 and M18 sections of the cavalcade route.

A truck carrying new golf buggies arrived at the golf course yesterday morning. It's believed they will be required to transport the large numbers of security personnel around the golf course when Mr Trump plays there.

The course at Doonbeg, originally designed by golfing legend Greg Norman, has been completely reconfigured under the stewardship of world-renowned golf course designer Dr Martin Hawtree, at an investment of more than €7m to date. Mr Trump will hold a bilateral meeting with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Shannon when he arrives.

Irish Independent

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