Credible threats made by dissident republican groups have prevented Queen Elizabeth from doing walkabouts or meeting more of the Irish public Irish Minister for Justice Alan Shatter told the press this week.
Describing the massive security operation around the queen as 'unfortunate but necessary,' Shatter said the operation mounted by Irish police and by the Irish Defense Forces was unprecedented in its intensity.
'It’s unfortunate for the visit of a neighbor with which we have such a close association that it’s necessary to mount a security operation of this intensity,' he told Ireland's Newstalk Radio.
'I think its unfortunate that the many thousands of people in Dublin who would have liked to have been more part of what happened - to be close at the Garden of Remembrance and see the Queen as she drove from different locations - did not have an opportunity to do this.
'This is the consequence of having a small minority of individuals in this country who do not accept the democratic will of the Irish people, who reject the vote of 85 per cent of people on the Good Friday agreement and are intent on continuing a campaign of threat, and murder where possible,” Shatter added.
The four-day visit to Ireland by the queen has necessitated the biggest security operation ever mounted by the State, with 8,000 Irish police officers and 2,000 Defense Forces personnel reporting for duty.
Over half of the entire Irish police force of 14,000 has been involved, for an operation that is more extensive than even the one planned for the visit of US president Barack Obama next week.
British foreign secretary William Hague told Ireland's national broadcaster RTE: 'It was inevitable that there would be a tiny minority who would be dissatisfied with the queens visit. The press here has reflected the reality of it. The warmth felt towards the visit is very striking. We are able to see that from members of the public to a certain extent,' he said.
'There will always be a minority for almost every head of state who are dissatisfied. The appetite is there in both countries to move on to an exciting future. It is so strong that we can say to that minority that we are moving on,' he said.
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