We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak at the 2021 G20 Ialia Summit in Rome. Alamy Stock Photo
biden visit

Rishi Sunak expected in Northern Ireland for Biden visit that will cost £7 million to police

Biden will arrive in Northern Ireland on 11 April and depart for the Republic the next day.

BRITISH PRIME MINISTER Rishi Sunak is expected to be in Northern Ireland during the visit of US President Joe Biden, which will cost the region around £7 million to police.

PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne told the Policing Board that the major operation to police a series of events around the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement will see 300 police officers from other parts of the UK travel to Northern Ireland.

The White House confirmed this week that Biden would visit the island of Ireland next week, with his visit beginning in Belfast to coincide with the anniversary of the historic peace deal.

Byrne briefed his oversight body on the policing operation during a meeting in Belfast.

He said: “He (Mr Biden) arrives in Northern Ireland on Tuesday evening, 11 April, and leaves on Wednesday, 12 April.

“Engagements have been planned for a number of parts of the Greater Belfast area and the Prime Minister (Rishi Sunak) is also expected to visit Northern Ireland during this time.”

While the itinerary is subject to change, security sources have indicated to The Journal the current plan is that upon leaving Northern Ireland on Wednesday, the US president will go for a “walkabout” in Dundalk

The US president is then due to arrive into Dublin on Wednesday evening and will visit Mayo on Friday.

PSNI Chief Constable Simon Byrne then spoke about the “second phase of the policing operation”.

This second phase will be between 17 and 19 April, when a number of politicians who were in office at the time of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, as well as current office holders, will be in attendance at these events in Northern Ireland.

The Chief Constable noted that a high-profile cyber conference was also happening in Belfast during this “second phase” between 17 and 19 April.

He said: “The policing operation will be significant and our role, obviously, is to facilitate all of these events in a safe way and to provide protection to the variety of visitors, politicians and participants, and also to keep the venues safe.

“Mindful of the threat level, a theme which runs throughout these plans is to assure the safety of our officers and staff while we continue to police the country.”

Byrne said the PSNI did not have the capacity to resource all of the events without assistance from other forces.

He said: “I am really grateful to colleagues from across UK policing that have now provided in the region of 300 officers that will be based here over the next two weeks to provide specialist support services to help police some of that operation.

“Some of the examples will be specialist motorcycle escort officers, firearms specialists and search specialists.

“You will see people from other parts of the UK here.

“Clearly this will drain the resource available for day-to-day policing and also put an additional cost pressure into our already-stretched budget.

“We assess it will be in the region of £7 million (€8 m) to police the events over the next few days.”

Press Association
Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel