The Minister is aware that razor wire was erected around part of the boundary of Farmleigh prior to the visit of EU leaders last weekend in order to provide additional security to the House and its visitors. I am concerned that there will be a delay in taking down the razor wire. Perhaps the Minister will inform me that it has already been taken down. It was not down this morning, but I hope to hear that it will be removed. A local garda told me that he did not think it would be taken down. I believe it should be removed.
There was no threat to visitors in the house because of the high level of security provided by gardaí in the area. Roads in the area were closed except for access. In addition to the razor wire that was recently erected, a permanent thin line of razor wire is attached to a fence inside the main wall of Farmleigh. Other security measures in place there, such as cameras and security staff, are sufficient for most events that take place. With so many important visitors involved, I can understand that the events of last weekend were exceptional and that the Garda Síochána felt it necessary to provide additional security. Additional razor wire was also erected for the visit of the Chinese premier and I had to push hard to ensure it was removed following that visit.
I am being brief in the hope the Minister will inform me that the razor wire will be removed. If that is not the case, I must impress on him that this is doing nothing for Farmleigh in terms of the number of people who go there to enjoy its wonderful facilities. The presence of razor wire turns the place into a prison. It was bought by the State with taxpayers' money to be enjoyed by the public as often as possible. It should not be turned into a fortress. I hope that will not be the case and that the Minister will inform me that, as we speak, the razor wire is being removed or will be taken down by the end of the week.