Queen Visits Ireland Despite Bomb Threat

Irish police say a coded bomb threat made by republican dissidents to Scotland Yard will not force them to alter their security operation ahead of today's visit by the Queen.

Gardai Supt John Gilligan said: ""Our plan has been in place for a number of weeks. It is an elaborate plan that involves inner and outer cordons and up to 8,000 officers.

""Officers from the UK are also part of the plan which is large enough to allow the visit to be conducted in the proper fashion."" His comments came after the Met Police received a telephone threat containing a recognised code word, which was non-specific in time or location.

Part of the Mall in London, which leads to Buckingham Palace, was closed after an officer noticed a suspicious item.An abandoned suitcase in Trafalgar Square was destroyed in a controlled explosion.

And as the Republic of Ireland cranked up its £26m security operation, a former Irish intelligence officer warned the visit was the ""last chance saloon"" for a movement that probably has no future.

""The dissidents know that this is really their last chance saloon, as we're probably in the death throes of militant republicanism,"" Decklan Power told Sky News. ""They're becoming increasingly irrelevant to their cultural heartland in the fringe areas in the north and one or two areas in the south. ""That's why it's also one of the most dangerous times.""

When the Queen, joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, arrives in Dublin she will become the first British monarch to travel to the Republic in 100 years and the first since the nation gained independence from Britain.

More than 8,000 Irish police have been mobilised to ensure its success – the biggest security operation in the history of the state. After being welcomed by President Mary McAleese, the Queen will make one of the more sensitive stops on her visit at the Garden of Remembrance.

Sky News