Social Media

Gardaí join Twitter ahead of Queen Elizabeth’s and President Obama’s visits

Garda station lamp. Photo by infomatique via Flickr
Credit infomatique via Flickr
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The Gardaí, Ireland’s national police force, have joined Twitter ahead of the historic visits of Queen Elizabeth and President Barack Obama in the next week.

The Gardaí’s Twitter account, @gardatraffic, will become one of the main ways the police force will notify the public of planned widespread disruptions to vehicle and pedestrian travel in and around Dublin and Cork Cities and other locations across the country.

You can see a map of the restricted area of Dublin City here, along with the latest tweets from Dublin’s traffic management organisations, from @DublinTransport, @LiveDrive, @aaroadwatch, @GardaTraffic, @Official_Luas, @DublinBusNews and @IrishRail

Garda station lamp. Photo by infomatique via Flickr
Credit infomatique via Flickr

The account was created on May 9, eight days before the first visit by a British Monarch to the Republic of Ireland, and will accompany the Gardaí’s already established Facebook page.

Irish, British and American security services have been preparing one the largest security operations to be put in place in the country. The visits by the Queen, between May 17 to 20, and President Obama, between May 23 and 24, will see much of Dublin City closed for 10 days, between May 14 and May 24.

Large areas of Dublin city will be shut down to commuters and pedestrians, street side rubbish bins have been removed and sewer, cable and underground access points have been sealed.  Similar actions have been taken in Cork and Tipperary, when the Queen and President will also visit.

Sewer, cable and underground access points have been sealed ahead of visits by Conor McGarrigle @stunneddotorg
Credit: Conor McGarrigle @stunneddotorg via Twitpic

The controversial visit of the Queen will see pedestrians prevented to accessing areas of the city she is visiting, cars have been banned from parking on the streets and bus, tram and train timetables will be altered. During the visits by the two Heads of State the Gardaí will be enforcing a stop-and-search policy in the city.  Several arrests have already been made.

During President Obama’s visit he will address the public in an open air event to be held in the city centre.  Although the location has not been revealed Obama’s address may take place on O’Connell Street, College Green or in Croke Park.  Obama will then visit Moneygall, his ancestral hometown.


Moneygall, President Obama’s ancestral home

The Twitter account will also be used to cover the other events around the country during the next two weeks, including the first state visit by the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, to Ireland (on May 18), the UEFA Europa League Final (May 18), Republic of Ireland v. Northern Ireland (May 24) and the Slane Concert headlined by Kings of Leon (May 28).

Gardaí are advising citizens and visitors to check their website and social networking sites for more information during the visits.

Feature image source: infomatique via Flickr

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Piers Dillon Scott
Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).