A luxury hotel that hosted Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin at 2013's G8 Conference is reviewing how it handles political events in future after rival groups clashed at the venue. The altercation saw opposing factions confront each other on Sunday outside the Lough Erne Resort near Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.
The far-right Irish National Party was holding its annual conference at the five-star hotel when a group of left-wing protesters disrupted the event. Violence broke out, and six people were injured - four of them were taken to hospital for treatment. Eyewitness videos captured the moment when the two groups faced each other. Some of those involved covered their faces with scarves and balaclavas. Police officers were quickly on the scene to separate the groups, and one man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon. The National Party conference continued after police had restored order. The party's deputy leader James Reynolds condemned the disruption and blamed it on left-wing groups hostile to his party's agenda.
The Lough Erne Resort described the incident as "deeply regrettable".
Management at the hotel said hiring out function rooms to any organisation did not represent an endorsement of any kind by the resort. “As with any type of booking, as a commercial entity, we accept private conference bookings from around the world in good faith," said the hotel.
"We do not facilitate or tolerate behaviour of this type at the resort. The health and safety of our staff and guests, along with our guest experience is paramount, and we will therefore be increasing our levels of due diligence in relation to private conference bookings in the future." The hotel says business at the resort has returned to normal. The police meanwhile are appealing for anyone with information on the confrontation to get in touch.
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