Doonbeg village locked down ahead of Pence family function

Doonbeg village locked down ahead of Pence family function
Gardaí in Doonbeg, Co Clare, this eveing.

Last-minute security sweeps are being carried out in Doonbeg Co Clare as the village is locked down while US Vice-President Mike Pence dines with relatives at a local restaurant this evening.

The main street in Doonbeg, part of the main N67 route, has been closed and traffic diversions put in place as part of the major security operation.

Mr Pence returned to Shannon Airport from Dublin at around 5.40pm after attending a number of engagements in the capital during the day.

The Vice-President will dine at Morrissey’s Restaurant which is run by distant cousin Hugh McNally and where he worked behind the bar for a time during a visit in the 1980s.

This afternoon, Gardaí, US military personnel and Secret Service agents have been preparing for the security operation. US personnel, including K-9 units, deployed sniffer dogs throughout the building and local area to search for explosives.

There is a significant Garda presence in the area with dozens of uniformed and plainclothes members while mobile teams including Armed Support Units patrol the village.

Gardaí have been issued with handheld metal detectors for security screening while other officers have been searching the locality including the banks of the Doonbeg River for anything suspicious.

The street main street through the was closed shortly after 6.00pm with metal barriers blocking any access the area around Morrissey’s restaurant.

Before the ring of steel was erected, tourists had been stopping outside Morrissey’s to take photographs.

The traffic restrictions are expected to be lifted around 10pm while security will remain tight at the Trump family’s hotel and golf resort until Mr Pence departs tomorrow.

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