Shatter: €20m security bill for Queen and Obama visits 'regrettable'

The Justice and Defence Minister Alan Shatter has today said that it is regrettable that more than €20m had to be spent on an unprecedented security operation for the visits of Britain's Queen Elizabeth and US President Barack Obama.

The Justice and Defence Minister Alan Shatter has today said that it is regrettable that more than €20m had to be spent on an unprecedented security operation for the visits of Britain's Queen Elizabeth and US President Barack Obama.

Minister Shatter says the final bill for the Garda Operation will be over 20 million - when finalised at the end of the month.

It is understood that the Defence Forces' total could be another €2m.

The money is for overtime, transport, accommodation, catering and the purchase or hiring of a range of security equipment.

Minister Shatter says a small number of people posing a threat resulted in such a massive cost for the taxpayer.

"It's of course regrettable that this amount of money needed to be spent," he said.

"The visits were of considerable success, they were of great importance, I think, internationally, they've done this country a great deal of good.

"I would much prefer that that money had been available for other purposes."

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