Security may be stepped up for Obama’s visit

President Obama due in Ireland on May 23

Rumors that the security surrounding President Obama's forthcoming visit to Ireland may now be increased are a matter for the US Secret Service, the Irish government said this week.

Following the killing of Osama bin Laden, Irish Transport Minister Leo Varadkar told the Irish Examiner that security for President Obama's visit on May 23 was already extremely tight and constantly under review.

"Largely the security efforts are being co-ordinated by the Secret Service, and the US Secret Service has been protecting American chief executives now for the best part of a century, so really they’re the ones who are taking the lead on this and they’re the ones who are giving us the necessary advice as to what arrangements need to be put in place," Varadkar told the Irish Examiner.

"It’s not unusual for America to be at war. So we’ve had similar situations in the past where you had to have maximum security, and I think, for the visit of an American president, security is always going to be maximum regardless of the context."

Meanwhile Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny described bin Laden’s death as a major achievement in the effort to rid the world of the threat of terrorism.

"The events in Pakistan do not mean that the international community should let up in its efforts to address the threat that international terrorism continues to pose for us all," Kenny said in a statement.

"We must redouble our efforts to address the causes of terrorism and to build a world of peace, security and prosperity for all.

Kenny arrived in New York today for a two-day series of engagements in the city to promote the message that Ireland is open for business.

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