George Bush arrives at Dromoland Castle

Friday 25 June 2004 22.27
Bush visit - Troops prepare for arrival
Bush visit - Troops prepare for arrival

George Bush has arrived at Dromoland Castle in Co. Clare ahead of tomorrow's EU-US summit.

Mr Bush, accompanied by his wife Laura, arrived at Shannon Airport just after 8pm and made the brief journey to Dromoland by motorcade, where he was greeted by the Taoiseach.

The security surrounding his visit is the tightest ever seen in the state with the hotel complex and its surroundings totally sealed off in an operation involving some 6,000 security personnel.

Tomorrow Mr Bush meets President McAleese and has an hour long meeting with the Taoiseach, Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister before the summit proper.

About 500 anti-war protestors gathered at Shannon town centre tonight and marched to the perimeter of the airport. A large number of gardaí were present and the protest passed off peacefully.

Three people, including a prominent anti-war campaigner, were arrested, hours ahead of the arrival of the US president George W Bush at Shannon Airport.

A massive security operation is under way around Shannon Airport and Dromoland Castle, in advance of the European Union-United States summit. 2,000 troops and 4,000 gardaí are now on duty in the area.

Protests are also being held tonight in other cities across the counrty. 10,000 people marched in Dublin while a further 2,500 turned out in Galway, Waterford and Sligo.