A ring of steel was erected around Dublin city today as security was stepped up for the historic State visit of the Queen.
Barriers are being placed across Dublin with parking restricted on more than 30 streets.
Roads have already been closed around one of the most controversial sites the Queen plans to visit as garda chiefs prepare for protests at the Garden of Remembrance, which honours those who died fighting for Irish independence.
A senior Garda source said there is a high level of security around her four-day stay.
“It is going to be tense,” he said.
“People want to stage protests to say she’s not welcome here. It’s a huge operation for us.”
Leave has been banned for 4,000 garda officers and 2,000 Defence Forces troops who will be deployed as part of the biggest security operation ever seen in Ireland.
Surveillance has been stepped up on known republican dissidents, with several arrests made in the North and the Republic.
The massive operation is focusing on potential terrorist threats as well as plans for “a protest stunt” by breakaway factions opposed to the peace process.
Socialist republican group Eirigi plans to set up an Irish Freedom Camp at the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square tomorrow.
Meanwhile, two water cannons have been brought in from the Police Service of Northern Ireland to cope with potential disorder and rioting.
The unprecedented security operation – which will include land, air and sea patrols – is estimated to cost €30m.
Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams stressed his party was still against the royal visit and would host celebrations of republicanism in each city the Queen visits.
He described the visit as premature and insensitive.
However he said he hoped the trip would hasten the foundation of a new and better relationship between the people of Ireland and Britain built on equality and mutual respect.
“But much will depend on what the British monarch says,” he added.
A website promoting the English Market in Cork, which the Queen is also due to visit next week, was hacked overnight with an image promoting a Sinn Féin rally in the city.
The party said it was not responsible for the incident.