Queen Elizabeth II Visits Ireland despite bomb threat

May 17, 2011, 10:38 by R.E. Christian

A bomb was found on a bus hours before British Queen Elizabeth II arrived in Dublin, Ireland, for a historic state visit Tuesday, police said.

The bomb, described by police as a "viable improvised explosive device," was found Monday night in the luggage area of a bus on outside of Maynooth, just west of Dublin, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Bomb teams examined a second device Tuesday discovered in Inchicore, also near Dublin, and found it was a hoax, police said.

A $42.6 million security operation is in place to safeguard the royal couple, officials said.

"We are prepared for eventualities, we have the experience and we have a lot of cooperation with the police force in Northern Ireland, the [British] security services and British police," Irish police official John Gilligan told the Financial Times.

Politicians on both side of the Irish Sea describe the four-day visit as momentous, the Telegraph said. The visit is the first by a British monarch to the republic in 100 years and the first since the nation gained independence from Britain.

British Prime Minister David Cameron is scheduled to join the visit Wednesday while Foreign Secretary William Hague will accompany the royal couple for the entire trip, which includes stops in Dublin and the counties of Cork, Kildare and Tipperary.

"I hope she gets a very good reception. I think she will. The people in Ireland are kind and generous and compassionate," Cameron said.

Irish President Mary McAleese called the visit a "phenomenal sign and signal of the success of the peace process."

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said his party was against the queen's visit and would host celebrations of republicanism in each city she visits.

Source: UPI