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Wednesday 22 January 2020

Obama could be heading North for G8 summit

Michael McHugh and Joe Churcher

World leaders including re-elected US President Barack Obama could be heading for a luxury resort hotel in Northern Ireland which is in the running to host next year's G8 summit.

The five-star Lough Erne complex in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, is believed to be one of several UK locations in the running to host the exclusive gathering of world leaders.

No final decision has been taken, the British government said.

The hosting of the G8, a summit of the world's top eight economies, would be a major coup for Lough Erne, which boasts Rory McIlroy as its touring professional.

The resort also boasts a close affiliation with six-times major winner Nick Faldo, who has a golf academy on site. Faldo is also the designer of the world renowned Faldo Course at Lough Erne.

The G8 brings together the heads of eight of the world's most powerful economies. Next year will be the 39th meeting in a series dating back to 1976.

A spokeswoman for British Prime Minister David Cameron said: "We have been looking at a number of options around the whole of the UK.

"We have not made a decision. We will announce the venue in due course."

The high-powered summit was last held in the UK in 2005, at Gleneagles in Scotland, but was overshadowed by the 7/7 London suicide attacks, which targeted people using public transport.

The G8 comprises seven of the world's leading industrialised nations and Russia. Its roots lie in the global economic recession of the 1970s.

This year the premiers of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the EU joined US President Barack Obama at Camp David, Maryland.

The luxury Lough Erne resort, which opened in 2007, is located amid dramatic scenery on a 600-acre peninsula in the far west of Northern Ireland. The resort's Loughside Lodges cost from £100 (€120) per night.

Irish Independent

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