Major security plan for FG conference

Fearing angry clashes at the FG annual conference in Limerick next weekend, gardaí have drawn up a major security plan and the South Court Hotel venue in Raheen will be a no-go area for non-delegates.

Many protest groups, including the pro-life Youth Defence, are expected to hold rallies outside the conference.

Gardaí will vet everybody entering the hotel area, to prevent infiltration during prime time TV coverage.

Youth Defence said it will bus in hundreds of supporters on Saturday evening when Taoiseach Enda Kenney delivers his keynote address. A spokeswoman for Youth Defence said: “We expect a big turnout of pro-life supporters to get the message across to Fine Gael and Mr Kenny that we have not gone away.”

While they did not have any plan to disrupt conference proceedings, Youth Defence members have been involved in clashes at pro-life demonstrations in the past. Hundreds of pro-life supporters will be bussed from Dublin, Cork, and other cities and towns.

The spokeswoman said: “We are working on the rally at present. It is mainly being organised from our members in Limerick. Many who will attend will be making their own travel arrangements and we will meet in the hotel car park for the rally which will get under way at 6pm.”

Niamh Uí Bhríain of the Life Institute, a sister organisation of Youth Defence, will be one of the speakers.

The spokeswoman claimed pro-life voters played a significant role in defeating the Government’s referendum vote to abolish the Seanad, as a protest over the Government’s enactment of the abortion laws.

She said: “We don’t trust this government any more. Our rally outside the FG conference will be another reminder to this party that the Irish people will not forget the fundamental values we support and will not be allowed forget.”

As other demonstrations are also being organised outside the conference, extra gardaí will be drafted in.

Supt Daniel Keane, Henry St, said: “A sizeable Garda operation will be in place in and around the South Court Hotel. Only accredited people attending the conference will be allowed access to the hotel and its precincts over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. No other people will be allowed into the hotel or it’s grounds.”

Notices were read out at Masses in the Limerick Diocese on Sunday calling on people to support the pro-life protest

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