A SENIOR GOVERNMENT Minister has reassured children across Ireland that everything has been put in place to make sure Santa arrives safely and on time at Christmas.
Alan Shatter, who as Minister for Justice is also Minister for Time and has responsibility for issuing visas, said Ireland is now prepared for the arrival of Santa Claus into the State in the coming days.
An Garda Síochána, the Defence Forces and Met Éireann have all been mobilised as part of the massive operation, which involves months of planning.
Santa has already been briefed that he will not face any excess baggage travel charges when he enters Irish airspace for the sacks of presents on his sleigh, Alan Shatter confirmed this morning.
“Both An Garda Síochána and members of the Defence Forces stand ready on alert to provide him with any assistance required to ensure that all his reindeer, including Rudolph, are properly fed and watered,” the Minister said.
Minister Shatter also reassured any children concerned about the bad weather which has hit Ireland in recent days, saying that it will not delay Santa’s progress from house to house.
“As Chairperson of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, I have asked Met Éireann to ensure that a speedy response be given to any requests Santa makes for information on any threatened extreme weather conditions that could impede his progress,” he said.
Although Ireland and Britain are the only two EU states outside of the common travel area mandated under the Schengen Agreement, the Minister said that he does not foresee any problems for Santa when he enters Irish airspace.
“Because of the speedy manner in which he goes about his business and the common travel area between Ireland and the UK, it is anticipated that Santa Claus will deliver his Christmas presents throughout Ireland and the UK in the blink of an eye,” said the Minister.
Santa’s journey can be tracked on the North American Aerospace Defense Command (known as NORAD) on its website. He may also be sighted – depending on the weather conditions over Ireland – by the Irish Air Corps Radar System when he comes over the horizon late on Christmas Eve.