World media spotlight turns on Fermanagh

‘Washington Post’ focus on Sligo, where White House press corps stayed

 Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper: twitter criticism for photo opportunity. Photograph: Peter Muhly PA/Getty Images)

Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper: twitter criticism for photo opportunity. Photograph: Peter Muhly PA/Getty Images)


The North was in the global spotlight yesterday as media around the world gave extensive coverage to the first day of the G8 summit at Lough Erne.

While the Syrian crisis and trade talks dominated the agenda in Enniskillen, there was also wide-ranging reporting of US president Barack Obama’s morning address to students and politicians in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.

The New York Times website reported on the speech in detail, noting that Mr Obama chose to open his European tour by addressing the young people of Belfast rather than other world leaders.

In the Financial Times coverage was devoted to part of Mr Obama’s Waterfront Hall speech, which described the North’s peace process as a “blueprint” for solving world conflicts.

‘Little to chance’
New York-based daily Newsday drew attention to the strict security arrangements for the summit, writing that the PSNI was leaving “little to chance”.

An article from news agency Bloomberg also noted that Belfast’s security arrangements were “reminiscent of Northern Ireland’s three-decade-long conflict”.

This was a theme picked up by the French daily Libération, whose correspondent reported that “a huge six-kilometre barrier” had been specially built around the Lough Erne summit venue, and that access by road, air and sea had been severely curtailed.

“With more than 8,000 police deployed for the summit, London didn’t want to take any risk,” the paper said.

As with many of the foreign reports, the French news agency AFP noted that world leaders were meeting in a repossessed five-star hotel.

Under the headline “Extravagant, expensive, bankrupt – Northern Ireland resort a fitting location for G8 summit”, Canadian newspaper the Globe and Mail detailing the financial difficulties experienced by the Lough Erne resort in recent years.

The Washington Post carried a long report from Sligo, where members of the White House press corps were staying.

Meanwhile, the visit by Michelle Obama and her daughters to Dublin was covered by a number of media organisations.

London’s Daily Telegraph reported on the first lady’s admiration for the Book of Kells and Trinity College library.

Canadian media also picked up on prime minister Stephen Harper and finance minister Jim Flaherty’s visit to Dublin over the weekend.

The National Post’s website carried a report pointing out that Meath East TD Regina Doherty had taken to Twitter to criticise the decision to photograph Mr Harper drinking a pint of Guinness.