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An Garda Síochána spent €14k on sandwich bags for members during US president's visit

That was part of the €107,625 catering payment to the Trump Doonbeg resort in west Clare.

Image: RollingNews.ie

A €14,000 SPEND by the gardaí on sandwich/snack bags for members was part of the overall €107,625 catering payment to the Donald Trump owned Trump Doonbeg resort in west Clare.

That is according to new figures released by the gardaí concerning its €11.3 million over-time operation put in place to protect US President Donald Trump during his two-night stay at his Trump Doonbeg resort in June.

The figures released in response to a new Freedom of Information request show that the Trump Doonbeg resort catering bill was run up through a series of ‘Marquee Banquets’ for the gardaí where they consumed a variety of meals over five days in June at the resort.

The bill for providing gardaí with sandwich/snack bags was €2,800 per day over the five days while gardaí also spent €875 on “additional teas and coffees due to inclement weather” on 4 June.

The contents of the sandwich bag are not known but a west Clare retailer which also supplied sandwich bags to the gardaí during the operation included a sandwich, a drink, a bar of chocolate, a piece of fruit and a bag to Taytos at a cost of €5 each to the gardaí.

The breakdown of the €107,625 total shows that over three days of the five day overtime operation Trump Doonbeg earned over €26,000 each day.

The resort was one of a large number of Co Clare hotel businesses to benefit from the gardaí’s catering and accommodation spend during the Trump visit.

The gardaí on overtime at various locations throughout west Clare had their breakfast each morning at the marquee at the Trump Doonbeg resort and the breakfast bill over four days was €16,800 or €4,200 per day.

The gardaí also had lunch each day at Trump Doonbeg and the lunch bill over four days came to €21,000 or €5,250 each day.

In addition, the gardaí paid Trump Doonbeg €21,000 for serving dinner over four days at a daily cost of €5,250.

The gardaí also paid the resort €21,700 for late night snacks or €5,425 per night.

The gardaí also paid Trump Doonbeg resort a daily room hire or marquee hire fee of €2,450 with the total cost from room/marquee hire amounting to €12,250 over five days.

Along with the catering spend, the gardaí paid Trump Doonbeg €5,976 to stay in a four bedroom ‘classic links cottage’ during the Trump visit. The duration of the stay is not disclosed for commercial reasons.

The numbers of meals provided to the gardaí was redacted in the information supplied and the Garda FOI Unit has decided not to release the number of sandwich bags/breakfasts/lunches/dinners and late night meals as the release could prejudice the competitive position of the various suppliers by making the cost per unit publicly known.

Asked to comment on the logistics of catering for the gardaí working overtime, general manager of Trump Doonbeg, Joe Russell stated: “We geared up for that entire week, as expected and it went very well. I’m proud of our entire team.”

On the performance of Trump Doonbeg in 2019, the long serving general manager said: “We’ve had a good year so far, a few concerns about where Brexit will take us next year but we remain positive overall on our performance and outlook.”

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Gordon Deegan

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