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Ireland battens down ahead of queen's visit

By Peter Taggart, For CNN
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Ireland preps for queen's visit
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 6,000 police officers and military troops deployed in Dublin
  • Anti-aircraft guns, military planes at the ready
  • Record security operation expected to cost 30 million euros

(CNN) -- The biggest security operation ever seen in Ireland is being put in place ahead of Queen Elizabeth's visit next week.

More than 6,000 Irish police officers and Defence Forces troops -- army, navy and air corps -- will be deployed in Dublin, with thousands more at other locations on the queen's itinerary.

Potential threats from the air will be tackled by anti-aircraft guns, and seven military planes will patrol Irish airspace.

A special forces unit is on standby in the event of a terrorist attack, and bomb disposal teams are also on high alert.

Queen Elizabeth's controversial visit

Trash receptacles have been taken off the streets of Dublin, and thousands of manhole covers have been sealed while 40 kilometers of crowd-control barriers are in place around the capital.

"This will be the biggest security operation ever seen in the history of the state," said garda (police) spokesman Superintendent John Gilligan.

It's estimated the security operation will cost 30 million euros, about $42 million.

Surveillance has been stepped up on known republican dissidents, who are planning demonstrations at key stopoff points during the four-day tour.

The Phoenix Park, where the Queen and her husband will be staying, will also be closed, shutting off one of the main arterial routes into Dublin.

Rolling closures will affect several other main routes throughout Dublin.

Parking is banned on up to 30 streets from 6 a.m. Saturday until Friday.

Security forces are expected to be particularly stretched Wednesday night, with the Europa League football final taking place at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.