Queen Elizabeth

A pick-axe attack targeting the airbase runway where Queen Elizabeth is likely to land next month, has further intensified concerns of dissident republican action during her inaugural trip to Ireland.

The incident occurred at the Air Corps base at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, and investigators are considering whether activists who are opposed to the Queen’s trip were responsible.

Fist-sized holes were dug out of Baldonnel’s longest runway, by a pick-axe device, which has sparked a major investigation by police, military and army engineers.

"There is a possibility that it was because of the queen's visit, but there was no evidence to support that, no graffiti, no pick-axe recovered, no claim of responsibility.

"There is a whole range of possibilities. We just don't know at this stage," a source told the Evening Herald.

The runway damage was discovered on Sunday morning when an Air Corps CASA plane attempted to use the runway.

The incident has sparked further fears of violence by dissident activists who are opposed to the Queen’s historical trip.

Plans for a major security operation are underway for when Queen Elizabeth arrives next month.

All members of an Garda Síochána (the Irish police force) have been informed that no one will be permitted to take annual leave between May 16 and 25 ahead of the visit of both Queen Elizabeth and U.S. President Barack Obama.

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