In one of the most massive security breaches possible during a presidential visit, President Joe Biden’s complete itinerary for his visit to Northern Ireland was found on the streets of Belfast Wednesday before it was turned in to British Police.
According to The New York Post, a random individual found the document that detailed precisely where Biden would be staying in Northern Ireland along with the phone numbers and names of the Northern Ireland Police Service detail assigned to assist the U.S. Secret Service in guarding the president per BBC Radio Ulster.
In a statement given to the Irish Examiner, the Police Service of Northern Ireland said “We are aware of a security breach.”
“An investigation has commenced and we have notified the Senior Information Risk Officer.
“We take the safety of visiting dignitaries, members of the public, and our officers and staff extremely seriously and will put the appropriate actions in place.”
The security situation in Northern Ireland was tenuous to begin with, according to the report from the Post, which indicated police in Londonderry were assaulted by a paramilitary group Monday as they marched in the street to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising. The group hurled Molotov cocktails and other projectiles at a police car. Earlier in the weekend, police even foiled a plot involving the placement of several pipe bombs intended to disrupt Biden’s visit.
It sends a curious message that while Biden would choose to visit Northern Ireland amidst increased tensions with successor groups to the IRA stemming from Brexit, and coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement ending the Troubles, he has elected to skip the upcoming coronation of King Charles III, instead sending the First Lady to represent the U.S.
This appeared to be knowingly done as Biden even observed the anniversary in a post on Twitter,
He wrote, “25 years ago, Northern Ireland’s leaders chose peace. The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement ended decades of violence and brought stability. I look forward to marking the anniversary in Belfast, underscoring the U.S. commitment to preserving peace and encouraging prosperity.”
25 years ago, Northern Ireland’s leaders chose peace.
The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement ended decades of violence and brought stability.
I look forward to marking the anniversary in Belfast, underscoring the U.S. commitment to preserving peace and encouraging prosperity.
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 10, 2023
According to the Examiner, Biden will leave Belfast Wednesday after delivering an address at Ulster University and traveling to County Louth and tour Carlingford Castle where he has reportedly traced his lineage.