The visits to Ireland by the Prince of Wales and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, have cost the Garda more than €2 million to police, according to new figures.Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show €2,119,742 was spent by gardaí on security for the royal couple’s trip in May of this year, although some of this cost may relate to a previous trip the royal couple made to Ireland.The Irish Times
reports that a major policing operation was devised for the official visit by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla in May.
“The visit of HRH the Prince of Wales and HRH the Duchess of Cornwall required security arrangements to be put in place by An Garda Síochána to ensure the safety of the visitors and the maintenance of public safety,” said a Garda spokesman.
The royal couple visited Dublin, Kildare and Kilkenny on their trip in May, which was the couple’s second visit to the Republic in the past three years.
In May 2015 they travelled to Mullaghmore, Co Sligo, where the prince’s great-uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, and three others were killed in an IRA bombing in 1979.A high-level security plan was drawn up ahead of that visit, which included mounting Garda checkpoints, closing roads and sweeping buildings for devices.
“The cost involved in the major security operation is a credit to the success of the security procedures which were devised for the visit. There were a number of threats made; in particular, members of the dissident republican community were monitored,” a senior Garda source said.
“We accessed threat levels to the Prince of Wales and his wife, and carried out a strict security plan which involved road closures, securing areas where devices may have been planted.”Gardaí said the reason the total expenditure for 2017 was so high may be due to a delay in the submission of financial claims relating to previous visits.
“There is no activity-based costing system in An Garda Síochána, therefore it is not possible to provide a total cost for an activity which includes salaries,” a Garda spokesman said.
Explosives chargesA Dublin man arrested on explosives charges in the run-up to the State visit of Prince Charles in 2015 was jailed last year for 5½ years by the Special Criminal Court.
Donal O’Coisdealbha (25), of Abbeyfield, Killester, in Dublin 5, pleaded guilty to membership of an unlawful organisation styling itself the Irish Republican Army, otherwise Oglaigh na hÉireann, otherwise the IRA within the State on May 13th, 2015.
The court had heard from Detective Inspector William Hanrahan, of the Special Detective Unit, that in the months leading up to the royal visit, O’Coisdealbha and others were being kept under surveillance by gardaí. They were being monitored in case a threat was made or taken against the prince.