Tuesday 12 December 2017

From G8 to last eight – CNN to film Ulster quarter-final clash

CNN has expressed an interest in featuring the last of the Ulster championship quarter-finals, between Cavan and Fermanagh, in Enniskillen on Sunday
CNN has expressed an interest in featuring the last of the Ulster championship quarter-finals, between Cavan and Fermanagh, in Enniskillen on Sunday
A security fence on the road to the Lough Erne resort
Supt Paula Hillman at temporary cells in Omagh police station

Colm Keys and Lesley-Anne McKeown

AMERICAN news channel CNN has expressed an interest in featuring the last of the Ulster championship quarter-finals, between Cavan and Fermanagh, in Enniskillen on Sunday to coincide with its coverage of the G8 summit at the nearby Lough Erne Resort.

Fermanagh PRO Johnny McManus has revealed that the worldwide news network has contacted his county board to seek permission to film inside Brewster Park on Sunday and interview supporters and participants on the day.

The G8 Summit takes place at the nearby lake resort on Monday and Tuesday.

Mr McManus revealed there was also interest from a Canadian network about featuring elements of the match.

"The request has come through a local production company but the platform will be CNN," said Mr McManus.

"It is quite an expression of interest in seeing what the game means to the local community," he said.

A massive traffic plan has been put in place to ensure that the estimated 12,000 crowd can access Brewster Park without being affected by the security and traffic restrictions in place.

Some roads are closed and there is restricted access to others, so the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Fermanagh County Board, Ulster Council and Fermanagh District Council have organised a 'park and ride' facility that they hope will ensure ease of access for everybody. There were fears Fermanagh would have to forfeit home advantage for this fixture because of the imminent arrival of Barack Obama, David Cameron and the other world leaders.

But early dialogue with the PSNI helped to keep the game in Enniskillen, despite the obvious security concerns and the threat of protesters.

Meanwhile, police protection of landmark sites across Belfast has been tightened in advance of the conference. Some properties, including the Parliament Buildings at Stormont, will be guarded round the clock.

Thousands of PSNI officers backed up by 3,600 specially trained public order police from England and Wales will be patrolling the streets to deter hardline anti-capitalist anarchists and dissident republicans from launching an attack.

ICONIC

"We are protecting the iconic sites from those extreme anarchist elements who may come to Belfast to try to seek to destabilise the G8 event and at the same time protect iconic sites from any dissident republicans," said PSNI Superintendent Alan McCrum, who is in charge of the Belfast policing operation. Banks, building societies and key businesses like the Waterfront Hall, the Titanic centre and political hubs such as Belfast City Hall will also have increased security.

The threat from dissident republican terrorists was reclassified by the Home Office as severe, while estimates for the numbers of protesters in Belfast have been revised down from 40,000 to around 10,000.

Irish Independent

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