The Minister for Defence has told the Dáil that the cost to the state of the Defence Forces involvement of the recent visits to Ireland by the British Queen and the President of the United States was approximately €1.8m.

Alan Shatter said the figures were based on estimates and that the Department of Defence was verifying the true cost.

However he added that he was confident that it would not exceed the estimates.

Mr Shatter also said it did not expect that a supplementary estimate would be required to pay the bill.

Socialist Party TD Clare Daly asked the minister if there had been searches or surveillance carried out at the request of the US authorities.

Minister Shatter accused Deputy Daly of obsessing with the US and said there were no such searches requested.

He said the US did not direct the Defence Forces of this country.

He added that the sad reality was that a large amount of money had to be spent on the visits because a small number of people engaged in conduct that posed a serious risk to the success of the visits.