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Traffic chaos alert as European leaders gather for conference

TRAFFIC restrictions are expected to cause chaos for commuters this evening as European leaders descend on Dublin for a major political party conference.

The European People's Party (EPP) gathering in Dublin's Convention Centre includes an appearance by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one the guests of honour.

She will be among the 12 EU heads of government to attend the conference, and a massive security operation will be rolled out by gardai for their protection.

Traffic restrictions surrounding the centre are expected to begin at around 6.30pm.

A garda spokesperson said that movement will be restricted at the front of the building on the North Wall Quay.


One of the capital's busiest arterial ways, the quay will close between Guild Street and East Wall Road at the 02.

It is also expected that a number of diversions will be put in place to facilitate the arrival of some VIP guests, including EU Commission President Manuel Barroso.

"It is a political event, but at the same time many leaders are here to meet with the Taoiseach. As guests of the State, there is an official protocol," an EPP spokesperson said.

The costs of the event will be divided after the conference, similar to when it was previously held in other countries.

"I don't know the exact figures. We will work it out with the relevant authorities. We always put aside a certain budget for security," the spokesperson said.

The EPP is currently the biggest political party in Europe, and long-standing Irish members include former Taoiseach John Bruton.