£6.2 million to protect Queen on trip to Ireland


There will be a £6.2 million security operation in place to protect the Queen when she takes a trip to Ireland next month.

Police have stepped up the security after fears that republican dissidents could use the historic tour as as a backdrop for terrorist outpouring.

The fears follow renewed terrorist activity, including a 500lb bomb found in a van near the border town of Newry last week.

The Queen is scheduled to visit a number of historically sensitive sites on her three-day trip with Prince Philip - which starts on 17 May - including Dublin's Garden of Remembrance dedicated to 'those who gave their lives in the cause of Irish freedom'.

An event will also be held at Croke Park, home of the Gaelic Athletic Association and scene of a massacre in 1920 when British troops opened fire on a crowd, killing 14 people.

Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness said yesterday the party objected to the Queen's visit, but he did not support any protest against it.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC1, he said that anyone 'inclined to protest' should do so peacefully.

Details of the itinerary for the state visit were published amid police fears that terrorists want to target more officers after the murder of Catholic Ronan Kerr in a car bombing outside his Northern Ireland home.

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