News today that 120 heavily armed British police officers from London’s Metropolitan Police force will be patrolling the streets of Dublin during the visit by the British head of state alongside (mainly unarmed) members of An Garda Síochana.
So, not only has the upcoming visit by the British queen introduced a city under siege, with Dublin locked down by a security cordon, road and street checkpoints for pedestrians and vehicles and Garda stop-and-search powers in full effect, turning Dublin 2011 into Belfast 2001, but we now also have British police officers on the streets of the capital armed with automatic pistols and automatic submachine guns and rifles.
Is this what we call going forward? To me it is more like going backwards.
From a cautious welcome by Progressive Republicans and Nationalists to the visit by HRH we are rapidly descending into the area of insult added to injury. Is this how to win hearts and minds? And is this what Enda ‘Paddy’ Kenny brings to the Irish nation. 25 millions euros in costs to the taxpayer, millions more lost to the local Dublin economy in missed business and trade caused by days of disruption, UDA British terrorist leaders at Islandbridge and now armed British cops on our streets?