Clinton for UL awards ceremony

Sat, Nov 17, 2012, 00:00

Former US president Bill Clinton will be in Ireland today for an awards ceremony at the University of Limerick.

On his last visit to Limerick in 1998, 40,000 people lined O’Connell Street but it is unlikely that the general public will get a glimpse of Mr Clinton at the strictly invitation-only event.

An advance party from the US secret service arrived in Limerick earlier this week to assess the location. Parts of the UL campus will be a no-go area for the duration of the visit.

Mr Clinton will fly in and out of Shannon by private jet.

When asked how he managed to get Mr Clinton to Limerick again, JP McManus said it was with “difficulty”.

“I did it with the help of friends. I got a friend of mine to make an inquiry. He was given a few days that would work for us so he picked November 17th . . . He is in Europe flying around and this is an extra pitstop.”

It was reported yesterday that Mr Clinton will be paid $250,000 (€195,000) by Mr McManus for his speech, however a spokeswoman for Mr McManus said they were making “absolutely no comment”.

Today’s ceremony will be attended by 600 invited guests.