Restrictions announced ahead of EPP congress

Recently freed Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko listed as speaker at Dublin event

Restrictions on the movement of traffic and pedestrians will be in place around the National Convention Centre later this week as 2,000 delegates and press attend the European People’s Party congress.

Security will be tight on Thursday and Friday around the convention centre where high-profile speakers including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Jose Manuel Barroso and recently freed Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko are expected to be in attendance.

Some 50 locally-based gardaí will be on duty around the event and restrictions will be in place from Thursday morning until mid-afternoon on Friday.

Outlining details of a traffic management plan this morning Superintendent Seán Ward of Store St Garda Station advised the public to use public transport "where possible".

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“We are going to have European heads of state attending... so clearly there are obviously security issues that we have to bear in mind.”

Some 50 locally-based gardaí will be involved and Supt Ward said any protests will be facilitated.

Local traffic restrictions will begin on Thursday morning around the convention centre but gardaí said disruption in the wider area is expected to be kept to a minimum during the early part of the day.

Supt Ward said traffic flow will be maintained “as normal” on North Wall Quay until 6.30pm when North Wall Quay will close between Guild Street and East Wall Road at the O2.

Local diversions will be in place to facilitate the arrival of high profile figures and a number of ‘lay-bys’ will be created outside the convention centre to facilitate the arrival of delegates and the media.

Residents and people who work in the area have been asked to carry identification to ease access.

The traffic management plan will be implemented again from early on Friday morning until mid-afternoon. North Wall Quay will close between Guild Street and East Wall Road and traffic will be diverted via Sherrif St.

“The whole idea is to try and balance the security of the event and to minimise the disruption to our local community,” Supt Ward said.

"Public transport is key (and) the IFSC is well served with Luas, Dart and Dublin Bus and we would very much appreciate it if people who are working in the area would utilise public transport on both those days".

Supt Ward said some traffic delays are "inevitable" but he warned diversions may need to be expanded as far as Butt Bridge or Matt Talbot Bridge "if there are security issues".

“We will facilitate the public as best as we possibly can,” Supt Ward said.

"We fully support the right of people to protest. It goes without saying - and that has always been the case with An Garda Síochána. "

“If there’s a protest down there we will clearly work with people who come down to protest. We would ask anybody who is going to do that to operate within the law and to assist us because we don’t want to impact the business community and the local community in any shape.”

Regular updates will be issued by the garda press office through Facebook and Twitter.

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Éanna Ó Caollaí

Éanna Ó Caollaí is an Irish Times journalist and editor of the Irish Times Student Hub