G8 Lough Erne: Something for leaders in their downtime

Published: 29 Nov 2012 14:300 comments

WHEN eight of the world's most powerful leaders visit next year they need to know our county has much on offer. Here's an off-beat guide to some of the things they can get up to during their time in Fermanagh...

Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

THE Russian president enjoys nothing more than fishing and hiking.

When he arrives in Fermanagh next year it will at the peak of the trout fishing season and mayfly will be hatching in big numbers right on his doorstep on lower Lough Erne. The question is, if he does go fishing, will he do what he usually does when he is out on the river and take his top off?

Let's hope not.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

CHANCELLOR Merkel is renowned for her down-to-earth style which has remained intact ever since she took up office. Visitors to her office can often find the most powerful woman in Europe serving the coffee or tea.

A keen wine drinker, Chancellor Merkel may well consider visiting the Enniskillen Wine Circle to learn about and sample wines with the help of tutor, Professor Mahen Varma when she comes here. The group, established in 1984, meets every other Monday night so following the first night of talks the German leader could nip into town and sample some Bordeaux from the professor's cellar.

Japan Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda

YOU have to feel sorry for Yoshihiko Noda. The Japanese prime minister is a fan of professional wrestling so he must be absolutely gutted to have missed Niall Bogue and Shane McCabe at the Brewster Brawl last weekend.

Never fear Yoshihiko! A couple of nights out in Enniskillen next year and you'll see all the wrestling you want at the queue to the Muck Truck on the Diamond.

He also enjoys watching movies and is a fan of Meryl Streep. Now, we'll give you that my friend, but have you ever heard of our boy Charlie Lawson (aka Jim McDonald)? He was on Corrie, so he was.

French President François Hollande

FRANCOIS Hollande apparently enjoys a burger or two, stemming from his days having to make ends meet as a student and working in a fast food restaurant.

The new French President has retained a taste for burgers so what better activity for him than a trip to Kettyle Irish Foods in Lisnaskea which this week was awarded a £1.2 million contract to supply its meat to retailers in the Netherlands.

And after a group of Fermanagh farmers improved their French accents last month during a study tour to the Clermont-Ferrand region of France it is only fair that Monsieur Hollande gets to learn why farming is so popular here when he visits Chez Fermanagh.

Someone should introduce him to Derrylin farmer Derek Thornton.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti

KNOWN for his reserved character, Mr Monti acknowledges not being especially sociable. He has said that his youth was given over to hard study and spare time activities included cycling and keeping up with world affairs by tuning in to foreign short-wave radio stations.

Oi Monti -- on your bike -- and take a trip to Florencecourt House, Castle Coole or Crom Castle where you can soak up the stunning views and breathe in that fresh Fermanagh air. Or take the Kingfisher Trail -- the first long-distance cycle trail to be developed in Ireland -- and follow a figure-of-eight through varied countryside around the lakes.

Mind you, the Italian leader's pursuit of cycling is a little pedestrian when compared to that of his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi and all his "bunga bunga" parties.

Probably for the best.

Prime Minister David Cameron

A KEEN tennis player, David Cameron reportedly once told President Obama to phone him back because he was in the middle of a match.

If Mr Cameron wants a break from the talks at Lough Erne then I am sure the Bawnacre's George Beacom will have him at the Irvinestown Lawn Tennis Club for a game. The Prime Minister visited the town last year and met with local community representatives and even bought six duck eggs at Miller's home butchers. I bet his friends in Irvinestown would welcome him there again for a bit of a fry up.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

STEPHEN Harper is reportedly a fan of The Beatles and AC/DC and is the first Prime Minister to employ a personal stylist, Michelle Muntean, whose duties range from co-ordinating his clothing to preparing his hair and make-up for speeches and television appearances.

We need to hook the Canadian Prime Minister up with GAA star and Lakeland Life columnist Ryan McCluskey (Clucker) who enjoys a bit of male pampering. He recently wrote in our magazine about his use of hair wax, moisturiser and exfoliating face wash. So, after the pair get themselves all doctored, Clucker could take Mr Harper to Brewster Park to watch a Fermanagh match.

U.S President Barack Obama

PRESIDENT Barack Obama, like all good people (this journalist included) is a leftie. He enjoys eating peanuts, playing basketball and drinking tea, and if there is one activity that we adore in Fermanagh that is drinking tea. He'll not be able to move without being offered cups of tea. Indeed, our love of tea is something Little Britain star David Walliams commented on when he filmed a new television show at Crom Castle earlier this year.

Mr Obama also enjoys dancing so he might like to sign up to the Westville Family Resource Centre's Not So Strictly event next year and get training after the G8, but would he be as light on his feet as this year's winners, Padraig Lunny and Sarah Tierney?

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