Government pledge on G8 security

Published Wednesday, 21 November 2012
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The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has told MPs all necessary resources will be devoted to policing next year's G8 in Co Fermanagh.

Government pledge on G8 security
The Lough Erne resort in Co Fermanagh. (© Getty)

Teresa Villiers was speaking during a debate on NI security at Westminster on Wednesday.

It follows Prime Minister David Cameron's announcement that the summit of world leaders will be held at the Lough Erne resort near Enniskillen in 2013.

Ms Villiers insisted that the necessary resources will be put into policing G8, adding that more details about the operation will be announced early next year.

"We are committed to making sure that the policing and security operation in relation to the G8 is a success," she said.

"Of course appropriate resources will be allocated to that and we will be making announcements in due course, probably in January, about the budgets for the G8."

Meanwhile, opening the debate, Nigel Dodds urged security forces not to be complacent in light of the reduced level of dissident republican threat to the mainland.

The level of alert was recently changed from substantial to moderate.

But after the death of prison officer David Black, who was gunned down as he drove to work along the M1 in Co Armagh, Mr Dodds said "massive challenges" remain.

The DUP representative said: "There is no doubt about the progress that has been made in Northern Ireland over recent years.

"The Prime Minister's announcement yesterday is something that would have been unthinkable, he said 20 years ago, I think even 10 years ago. It is an immense opportunity for Northern Ireland to showcase its talents and the opportunities we can provide to a worldwide audience. It is one of the marks of the progress we have made.

"(But) people can sometimes fall into the belief that everything is now sorted out and settled as far as Northern Ireland is concerned.

"These events and the tragic murder of David Black have served to remind everyone that massive challenges remain. It is important we debate these issues here today, take note of the progress that has been made but also make clear to the people of Northern Ireland there is no complacency and there is no sense the challenges are being underestimated."

Two men, aged 34 and 42, were arrested in Coalisland, Co Tyrone, on Wednesday in relation to the killing of Mr Black.

The NI Secretary said: "Anyone with information on this crime or any other terrorist activity in Northern Ireland should come forward and contact the police as a matter of urgency."

© UTV News
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