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Chief Superintendent John Kerin

Airport security ‘an inordinate draw’ on garda resources

AS anti-war groups prepare to stage a protest at Saturday’s Shannon Air Display, the head of Clare’s garda division this week admitted that dealing with ongoing security matters at the airport is “an inordinate draw” on resources.

Speaking at this week’s Joint Policing Committee, Chief Superintendent John Kerin said he would like more resources to be put in place for gardaí in Shannon, particularly in light of the ongoing work involved in dealing with protests and ensuring the security of Shannon Airport.

“There is an inordinate draw on our resources that could be used more favourably on crime detection and prevention,” he said.

However, the Chief Superintendent added utilising garda resources at the airport is “necessary” and that “they have an impact”.

He told the meeting that gardaí are “constantly monitoring” the situation at Shannon Airport to assess any threats, adding that they work very closely with stakeholders to ensure security.

Up to 40,000 spectators are expected in Shannon for Saturday’s airshow, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the first commercial transatlantic flight.

Several anti-war groups are also using this opportunity to get their message across with a peaceful protest. Groups from across the country are expected to attend the protest, organised by Shannonwatch, who claim that the airshow will “glorify war”.

As well as Shannonwatch, other organisations supporting the planned protest are the Irish Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA), Afri, the Irish anti-war movement and the Galway Alliance Against War. According to Shannonwatch, the protest will be in the form of a peace vigil, expected to take place at around 2pm near the entrance to the airport.

 

Jessica Quinn

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