herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

West Clare is going into huge security lockdown

A no-fly zone has been set up around the Doonbeg resort
A no-fly zone has been set up around the Doonbeg resort

While US president Donald Trump will stay in the presidential suite at his luxury Doonbeg Resort property tomorrow night, hundreds of gardai on security duty around Clare will be accommodated in an assortment of guesthouses, B&Bs and youth hostels.

Such is the scale of the €10m security operation in Shannon, Doonbeg and other parts of Clare for Mr Trump's visit that there is not sufficient accommodation for the hundreds of Defence Forces personnel, gardai, private security officers and US military and Secret Service teams now deployed.

So extensive is the security plan that every garda division in the south has been asked to supply a complete unit for the west Clare operation.

More than 1,000 personnel will be deployed.

Gardai have warned that parts of west Clare will effectively be in security lockdown for 72 hours until Air Force One departs for Washington.

For the past fortnight, no vehicle has been allowed entry to the 400-acre Doonbeg Resort property without a full security inspection.

Checkpoints

A no-fly zone is being operated around Doonbeg, and special anti-drone teams have been deployed.

The Naval Service is monit- oring the sea approaches to the resort.

Firms around Shannon airport have been instructed to have special lists of all their employees scheduled to work throughout the days of Mr Trump's visit, and they must carry valid work photo ID at all times.

Workers have also been warned to allow extra time for journeys, given potential security checkpoints along all routes associated with the presidential trip.

In Doonbeg, traffic restrictions were imposed from 7pm last evening and some restrictions will remain in place until Saturday morning.

Gardai, on the advice of the US Secret Service, have imposed three security cordons around Doonbeg.

Anyone living within the outer cordon will need a special pass to access the area.

Access to the inner cordon is strictly controlled, with Doonbeg Hotel, Doonbeg Golf Course and the nearby Doughmore Beach in full lockdown and off limits to everyone except security personnel and those with the presidential party.

Locals have also been warned that some roads in the area will be closed for the duration of Mr Trump's visit.

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