About 900 police have been placed on the southern side of the Irish border ahead of the G8 Summit at Lough Erne Resort in Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland on June 17 and 18.
President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin are a couple of the world leaders attending.
Garda Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny, who is in charge of the border counties, said the police are in close contact with security services in several countries in addition to international agencies Interpol and Europol.
The police are preparing for any kind of a threat and they have daily intelligence briefings on local and overseas threats. Kenny told UTV, “For an event of this magnitude, the what-ifs list is endless.” One what-if is local dissident republicans using the event for publicity. Police do not yet have an estimate for the number of protesters in Northern Ireland. They expect a large protest in Dublin.
RTE reported Kenny said, “Everyone has the right to peaceful protest, in line with the Humans Rights Act, An Garda Siochana will act appropriately to ensure that there is no unnecessary disruption caused to the public by such protest.”
Up to 4,500 Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) will be on patrol during the G8 Summit and another 3,600 officers from British forces, including boat crew members that patrolled the London Olympic venues, will come in. This is expected to be the biggest operation ever carried out by the PSNI.
There has been an increase in security at Belfast International Airport, where several world leaders will arrive for the G8 Summit.
Irish police units backed up by the Irish Army will man eight temporary border checkpoints and there will be rolling checkpoints by mobile patrols. A seven mile stretch of Lough Erne will be closed completely for three days and the Loughshore Road in Enniskillen will be closed until June 26. Kenny has warned people living along the border and others traveling across it to expect disruptions before and during the G8 Summit.
There are also plans for extra detention cells in the Republic, including in counties Donegal and Monaghan. Special courts will be available if necessary and district court judges are on standby.
Authorities in the UK have said they expect security measures to cost about 50 million pounds. The chief of the Irish police said the cost of security would be available after the event. Kenny said, “It is a fluid, moving plan. The finer detail of the plan is only coming to light in the latter stages of it, because the countries are voicing their requirements now.”
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