Donald Trump lands in Ireland

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania have arrived in Ireland.

Air Force One touched down at Shannon Airport at around 4.45pm on Wednesday.

The White House press corps were first off the back of the plane before Mr Trump appeared at the top of the steps and waved, followed by Melania, who also waved, then the pair descended the steps together.

They were greeted by Ireland’s premier Leo Varadkar.

President Trump state visit to Ireland – Day One
President Trump state visit to Ireland – Day One

About a hundred people turned out to protest over the arrival of President Trump at the entrance to Shannon Airport.

The group are protesting against the president’s policies on climate change and the use of Shannon Airport by the American military.

His arrival comes amid a massive security operation in west Co Clare.

Thousands of gardai have descended on the area where the US president and Melania will stay following their three-day state visit to the UK.

The couple will spend two nights at his Doonbeg hotel and golf resort in Co Clare.

Leo Varadkar
Leo Varadkar

Mr Trump is holding a bilateral meeting with Mr Varadkar at Shannon Airport.

A huge ring of steel has been erected around the five-star resort where the Trump family will stay until Friday.

Donald and Melania Trump with the Queen
Donald and Melania Trump with the Queen

Around 3km of barriers and 3km of 6ft high fencing have been put in place for the visit.

And 1,500 gardai have been drafted in throughout the area for three days.

Officers have been deployed from western, southern, south eastern and Dublin regions and are being supported by approximately 500 members attached to specialist units.

Members from the emergency response unit, armed support, public order, water unit – including sub aqua divers – air support, roads policing escort and the telecommunications unit are all in place for the presidential visit.

Theresa May with Donald Trump
Theresa May with Donald Trump

Some 16 dogs and 10 horses have also been deployed.

Approximately 8,500 meals have been prepared for each day of the visit for gardai, along with 40,000 bottles of water.

A temporary strategic control room has been installed at Shannon garda station, with a back-up facility at Ennis station.

Paul Markham, who lives 10 miles from Doonbeg in Kilmurry McMahon, is a huge Trump supporter.

He enlisted the help of a few neighbours to make an American-inspired top hat, which he hopes will catch the attention of Mr Trump.

Speaking in Doonbeg, he said: “I think it’s a great cead mile failte (Irish welcome) for him to Ireland and to this historic village.

Trump Baby Blimp
Trump Baby Blimp

“The atmosphere is building up and we are all here to welcome the Trump family, it’s a great occasion.

“He’s providing employment for west Clare and tourism.

“We are hoping Donald will come down from his hotel and into the village.

“People are waiting anxiously waiting to greet him. He’ll get a great welcome.”

He said the high security operation is “important and essential”.

Don't forget – get to Shannon on Wednesday evening 6pm to protest against the latest warmongering US president to come to Ireland

— Shannonwatch (@shannonwatch) June 3, 2019

Opponents of the president predict thousands of people will take part in protests across Ireland to coincide with his visit.

The Trump “baby blimp” is expected to fly over the skies of Dublin at the largest of the demonstrations.

A Shannonwatch peace camp will be erected at Shannon Airport for the duration of his stay.

Mr Trump had been due to visit Ireland last November, but the trip was postponed for operational reasons.