Thursday 15 November 2018

John Downing: Michael D has been self-serving over jet row...but he'll still walk it

 

'President Higgins has glided seamlessly through a reversal of his 2011 promise to seek just one presidential term.' Photo: Tony Gavin
'President Higgins has glided seamlessly through a reversal of his 2011 promise to seek just one presidential term.' Photo: Tony Gavin
John Downing

John Downing

So President Higgins used the Government jet for a visit to Belfast on the advice of his office - not the Police Service of Northern Ireland, as we had been led to believe. It's a detail that may elude many citizens.

It's 160km from Dublin to Belfast and there are well-used protocols for a car and police escort switch on the Border. Alas, we are some distance from a situation where security is not necessary.

Security services on both sides of the Border are hyper-careful to ensure a visiting VIP, from either jurisdiction, faces no threat to their safety. There are a variety of valid motivations for that - not least the need to hold on to the day job.

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