Thursday 20 June 2019

Cork garda exodus to guard Trump

Bill Browne

While US president Donald Trump may not be making the short trip down the road to the Rebel county during his visit to Ireland, plenty of Cork-based Gardai will be making the journey in the opposite direction as part of one of the largest security operations the country has ever seen.

Three of the five Cork-based Garda operational units have been deployed to Clare for the visit of President Trump and his wife Melania. 

The approximately 650 Cork Gardai will join a total deployment of around 1,500 members of the force in Clare for the visit. 

A source told The Corkman that approximately 60 Gardai from Mallow, Fermoy, Kanturk and Charleville will be among the Cork contingent for the security operation in Clare, the largest the county has seen since the 2004 visit of the then US President George Bush.

While the source confirmed that three-fifths of the entire Cork force would be deployed on the security details, it would be 'business as usual' back in Cork, with the two remaining units working overtime to ensure all Garda areas have 24-hour Garda cover for the duration of the presidential visit. 

The source said that leave and off days have been cancelled for Gardai right across the southern region. 

"In addition, Gardai on duty will be working 12-hour shifts to ensure there is no depletion of cover, with units on duty around the clock as normal. So there will be no depletion in cover or resources across all of the Cork divisions over the coming days." 

The 1,500 uniformed Gardai deployed to Clare will be supported by around 500 additional members of an Garda Siochana attached to various specialist units. 

These will include the emergency response, armed support, public order, water (four RIBs and sub aqua divers), the dog, mounted, air support, roads policing escorts and telecommunications units. 

They will also be joined by members from the various wings of the Defence Forces for the security operation, which it is estimated will cost in the region of €10 million.