It's a 'lough-down' for seven-mile stretch of Erne during G8 summit
Published 26/04/2013 | 04:20
A seven-mile stretch of one of Northern Ireland's best-known waterways will be locked down for the G8 summit this summer.
The section of Lower Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh will be off-limits to any boat or vessel for three days in June as the meeting takes place at the Lough Erne Resort. The five-star hotel complex sits on the lakeside and the PSNI's marine plan is part of a massive security operation aimed at keeping the venue safe when some of the world's most powerful political figures convene for the meeting in mid-June.
While planning for such high-profile political events in any host country has to factor in the potential challenges posed by radical anti-capitalist protest groups, in Northern Ireland security chiefs also have to deal with the threat from dissident republicans opposed to the peace process.
The part of Lower Lough Erne that will be closed stretches from the lough gates at the historic Portora Royal School on the outskirts of Enniskillen northwards to Ross Point near Blaney.
The Lough Erne Resort is situated in this section of the lough.
A PSNI spokeswoman said: "As part of our role in preparing to deliver a safe G8 event for everyone, planning has been taking place to police Lough Erne. This will involve implementing a marine plan, the aim of which is to deliver a safe and secure G8 while minimising disruption to users.
"A significant police operation will be in place in the lead-up to and during the G8 summit on June 17 and 18. Meeting the ongoing needs of our community has been a key consideration and we have been working to reduce any potential inconvenience caused to users of Lough Erne.
"It is currently planned that it will commence at lunch-time on Sunday (June 16) and end on Tuesday night (June 18).
Anyone breaching the restrictions will be liable for prosecution.