G8 Summit: Police outnumber protesters in Enniskillen

Officers patrol fields around the Enniskillen G8 venue. Picture: AP
Officers patrol fields around the Enniskillen G8 venue. Picture: AP
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POLICE far outnumbered protesters in Enniskillen yesterday as the Co Fermanagh town geared up for the G8 summit.

Security was tight, with patrols in the air, on the water and roadsides while just six people and a dog had set up at a makeshift camp for protesters.

There was a relaxed atmosphere at the Broad Meadow on the banks of the Erne, where campaigners chatted with police, who had brought them cups of coffee in the morning.

By lunchtime, just four tents had been erected on the playing fields, which had been made available by Fermanagh District Council.

Andrew Carnegie, 43, from Blackhill, Glasgow, was at the camp with his son Darren and dog Grace – who accompanied him to the G8 summit at Gleneagles in 2005.

“How can you sit in a luxury hotel and talk about poverty and world hunger – you need to camp somewhere like this and exhaust yourself as a protest. That is worthiness,” he added.

He arrived in Northern Ireland on Thursday but said he has been disappointed with the number of campaigners who had made it to Enniskillen.

“I am a bit gutted,” added Mr Carnegie.

A ring of steel has been erected around the Lough Erne resort, which will host the world leaders today.

Police in Land Rover type vehicles were mounted on every motorway bridge between Belfast and Enniskillen.

Boiler suit-clad officers were also scouring ditches and roads along the route.

In Enniskillen, most of the shops are closed and there are few tourists in the area.

Gaelic football bosses said the security operation had not impacted on a Championship quarter final clash being held in Enniskillen this afternoon.