January 24, 2013 7:00 pm
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Flag protesters warn they may target G8 summit



Union flag protesters at a recent flag demonstration in Enniskillen

THE WORLD LEADERS could be subjected to a Union flag protest at the G8 summit in June, the Fermanagh Herald can reveal.

Fermanagh TUV chairman, Alex Elliott, this week acknowledged that there have been talks among local protesting groups about coming together to protest at the G8 summit which is to be held at the Lough Erne Resort this year.

“There is already talk of a G8 protest,” said Mr Elliott.

“The idea would be to bring them all to Enniskillen, all the protesters.”

He continued: “It’s not planned, there’s talk between different groups – the Enniskillen group, the Dungannon group, the Cookstown and the Omagh group. There’s been an exchange of words and views on it to bring the protest to Enniskillen – a G8 protest.”

Mr Elliott also said that he does not know when the protests here will end, criticised unionist leadership but also condemned violence that has taken place in Belfast.

He said: “You have to condemn the violence, no matter what violence. Regrettably the violence has happened. Regrettably we’ve suffered 30 years of violence, and a lot of people lost their lives, both Catholic and Protestant lost their lives for no real reason. There’s no justification for loss of life, and there’s no justification for violence.”

A seventh protest took place in Enniskillen, for which Mr Elliott was not present, on Friday night.

Around 40 attended in adverse weather conditions, and the Fermanagh TUV chairman claimed that each and every protest is playing its part.

“I’d say the weather probably put people off – they weren’t going to chance it. For those who did turn up to brave the snow, the sleet, the rain, the storm – full marks to them for their determination.”

He continued: “The protests in Fermanagh are peaceful, but each and every protest is playing their part to paint the bigger picture that there is ill-feeling as to what is going on. If there’s as much as one stone thrown, I’ll walk away from it. But I know there won’t be.”

Mr Elliott finished by saying that there have been talks regarding an extension in terms of where the protests take place. To date, they have been based solely in Enniskillen.

“At the minute there is talk that they will go into south Fermanagh and into other parts of Fermanagh. It would be more of a memorial parade rather than a protest,” he concluded.

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