clearing the decks

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So David Icke is not completely hallucinating, okay?
MEMBERS OF the public planning to get a glimpse of the Queen or even meet her next week as she travels around the Republic will be disappointed by a decision to ban onlookers from the streets outside all of her visit locations.

While US president Barack Obama is to make a public address in Dublin during his visit the week after next, and may greet some of the crowd like former US president Bill Clinton did in 1995, the public will be kept well away from the Queen because of concerns for her safety.

The decision underlines the view of senior gardaí that the Queen’s visit represents a much greater security risk than Mr Obama’s visit.

Onlookers will not be accommodated at any of the locations the Queen visits in Dublin, Kildare, Tipperary and Cork, according to Garda sources. The only people to meet her will be hand-picked.

In the UK and on some foreign visits the Queen often greets crowds on brief walkabouts, with just a crowd-control barrier separating her from the public. However, any similar interaction here has been ruled out. The streets she visits will be sealed off to both traffic and pedestrians.

“It would be great if we could have her meet crowds, but you would nearly have to strip search people in the crowd she’d be meeting so it just isn’t possible,” said one security source. The precaution will make it more difficult to assess how welcome the Queen is here. The decision to keep the public off the streets also means there will be no opportunity for protesters to gather outside the places she visits.

Gardaí are hopeful the absence of a clear focal point for protesters will reduce the risk of any major protest descending into rioting.

The first possible public order issue to be faced by gardaí may be tomorrow. The republican socialist group Éirígí has called on people to begin occupying the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin’s city centre from 3pm. Éirígí has vowed to maintain a “freedom camp” at the site on a 24-hour basis to disrupt the Queen’s plans to lay a wreath there on Tuesday afternoon. It is likely that those who try to occupy the site will be resisted and removed by gardaí.
Isn't that special?