Michelle and Barack Obama greeting the public in MoneygallGoogle Images

President Barack Obama’s one day visit to his ancestral homeland of Moneygall in Ireland cost the taxpayer $16.5million – much of it in overtime.

Irish Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has revealed the full breakdown of the $36million security costs for the recent visits by Obama and the Queen.

Shatter has confirmed to the Irish parliament that travel and subsistence allowances worth close to $5million were paid to police on duty in May.


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Other unspecified ‘other costs’ for police work around the visits amounted to almost $6million, according to the final figures.

The Queen’s four-day visit resulted in a security bill of $34million while $16.5million was spent on Obama’s one-day visit.

“All Garda (police) leave and rest days were cancelled for this period and members on duty were required to work longer than normal shifts,” revealed Minister Shatter.

“Movements of several thousand Garda (police) members over a number of days had to be arranged, involving the hiring of transport and the provision of accommodation.

“A range of security-related equipment also had to be purchased or hired.”

Shatter has been informed by the police authorities that expenditure to date on payroll costs including overtime was $44million: $30million for the Queen’s visit and $14 million for Obama’s trip.

“The visits of Queen Elizabeth and President Obama required unprecedented security arrangements to be put in place by the Garda Síochána (police) to ensure the safety of our visitors and the maintenance of public order,” added Shatter.

“The safety of our visitors and the maintenance of public order were the top priorities.”