THE Dalai Lama will arrive by helicopter for his visit to the University of Limerick next week, landing on the middle of the running track beside the UL Arena, where he is due to deliver an address entitled ‘The Power of Forgiveness’ to close to 3,500 people at the sold-out event.
A massive security operation will surround the visit by the exiled Tibetan leader, who announced recently that he is to step down as a political leader. The UL Arena building is to be “locked down” overnight by gardai. The Buddhist leader will be accompanied by a “significant personal security team” when he arrives, with his entourage travelling in two separate helicopters.
While special branch gardai are not expected to be involved in the operation and bag checks are not expected to be employed for the audience attending the event, it is understood that a number of armed plain clothes gardai will be in attendance at the event, which takes place next Thursday.
A park and ride facility will be in operation for ticket holders, leaving from the Dell car park, located in the National Technology Park in Castletroy near the University, and members of the public “who don’t have a particular pass won’t even get onto the campus”, according to a UL spokesperson.
“Anyone who has bought a public ticket, we would be advising them to go straight to the park and ride at Dell, which will be running from 7.15am,” said the UL spokesperson.