What makes Fermanagh an attractive G8 location
- 20 November 2012
Fermanagh was chosen as the location for the next G8 summit for two main reasons - history and geography.
G8 summits have a long history of attracting large demonstrations, and Fermanagh's lakeside geography will make it difficult for protesters.
It will still require a massive security operation, but the Police Service of Northern Ireland are well used to dealing with a high level of threat. They are also experienced in dealing with large demonstrations.
Nonetheless, they will need help from other forces. At the last G8 summit in the UK, at Gleneagles in 2005, the Scottish police called in extra resources.
While reporting on a protest in a muddy field near the summit venue at Gleneagles, I remember bumping into a police officer I knew - from 250 miles away in west Yorkshire.
Like the Scottish summit, the Fermanagh global get-together is likely to be based around a golf resort - the five-star Lough Erne resort, made famous by world number one Rory McIlroy, the club's tournament professional.
Much of the vast complex is surrounded by water. Almost all of the roads within 30 miles are single carriageway.
When it comes to a security "lock-down", the geography makes it much more manageable.
Protesters will still come to Fermanagh, but it will not be a straightforward journey.
There were political considerations too in the decision to bring the G8 to such a remote corner of the UK.
By choosing Northern Ireland, Prime Minister David Cameron will hope it sends the message to the rest of the world that the peace process has worked and normality has returned.
It will be a chance for Fermanagh to sell itself as a tourist destination, and a golden opportunity for the Lough Erne resort to put itself on the global golfing map.
Journalists from across the world will be descending on Enniskillen and the surrounding area.
Already it is difficult to find a hotel room in the area for the time of the summit. Some media outlets are already booking boats on the Fermanagh lakes as an alternative.
2013 promises to be a busy year for the police in Northern Ireland.
Throughout the year, Londonderry is the UK City of Culture.
The World Police and Fire Games will be held for 10 days in August. On top of that, the police will have to patrol the marching season.
It will be no easy task.
Fermanagh people often complain about it being the "forgotten county" two hours from Belfast.
That will all change when the political leaders of eight of the largest economies come to visit next year.
For one week in June, rural Fermanagh will be the centre of the world.