Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Ceisteanna (12)

Martin Kenny


12. Deputy Martin Kenny asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the area of the budget of An Garda Síochána from which the estimated €15 to €18 million cost of the visits of the President and Vice-President of the United States of America will come from; the details of the expenditure in view of the high cost and the fact that the visits were of a short duration; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47533/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Deputy will appreciate that high level visits to Ireland are of significant importance in the development and maintenance of our relations with other States.  Such visits are to be welcomed and offer important opportunities to us, as a small outward-looking State, for positive engagement with partners. 

In terms of the cost associated with the visit to Ireland of President Trump and Vice President Pence, the Deputy will appreciate that there is an obligation on the State to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of every visiting dignitary, in line with risk assessment.  Similar measures and courtesies are as a matter of course also extended to Ireland, when members of Government travel on official visits to other States.

The Garda authorities have informed me that the costs compiled to date in respect of President Trump’s visit total approximately €11.5 million.  I understand that the cost of Vice President Pence’s visit stands at approximately €3 million.  Such costs arise across a number of subheads, generally including salary including overtime, travel and subsistence, communications costs, equipment costs, station services and so on.

As I have previously indicated, additional funding will be provided to the Garda Vote before the end of this year to meet the costs to An Garda Síochána associated with the visits.  I am grateful to my colleague the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform for taking this into account.