Officials of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport met today with US counterparts to discuss operational matters regarding US Preclearance at Irish Airports.
The meeting was also attended by other Irish Governmental officials including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service along with representatives of Dublin and Shannon Airports where preclearance facilities are located. The US side comprised officials from Custom and Border Protection, Transportation Security Administration and the US Embassy in Ireland.
The position in relation to the US President’s Executive Order on Immigration signed on 27 January 2017 was discussed by the representatives.
The US outlined the position in relation to the Executive Orders and on operational issues relating to its implementation prior to the stay. It also set out the position regarding the legal challenges and advised that consideration was being given to the issue of another Executive Order in the coming days.
The Irish side recalled that the Irish Government has expressed its disagreement with the policies underpinning the recent Orders and that these views had been communicated to the US authorities through diplomatic channels.
It was noted that the Taoiseach had requested a review of the Preclearance facilities at Dublin and Shannon Airports. In the context of that review which is just being completed, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport outlined that it had communicated that Preclearance was a valuable service for Ireland, delivering benefits for passengers, airlines, airports as well as the Irish economy, that there has been no breach of the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU and that the operation of the Ireland-US Preclearance Agreement does not give rise to any breach of obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. On that basis, the Department’s view was that US preclearance arrangements in Dublin and Shannon Airports should remain in place.
The meeting was useful and productive, and provided an opportunity for Irish and US officials to discuss a number of other issues regarding the operation of preclearance at Irish airports.