God isn’t it great, though? I can hardly believe it - it’s like getting all your birthdays and Christmases bunched together on a couple of June days. Sure we’ll be like a house that’s been nominated for the stations - there’ll be no let-up in white-washing and scrubbing and cleaning and painting and putting up ‘Cead mile failte’ signs on every lamp-post and tree.
And to think that where was that remote village Obama visited a while back, what was it, right, Moneygall. To think that the Moneygall people thought they were the tops. Hah! Forget it, Co Louth. We’ll be getting Obama plus every other important person you could think of - the political creme de la creme of Britain, France, Germany, Russia - we really have been selected for an honour so top-heavy, it’s a wonder it doesn't topple and fall into one of those loughs around the hotel.
What’s that? The hotel is in receivership? Oh. That does put a slight dampener on things. But hey, think of it this way: having the G8 summit there shows that there’s light at the end of the tunnel, that there’s resurrection after receivership, that phoenix-like, we’re set to come swooping clear of the ashes. I knew there was a positive aspect to it, if you thought hard enough.
Will I be going myself? Well, no. And no, none of my friends either. Though there is a neighbour’s lad that’s got a job taking out the garbage at the back of the hotel - he’s going to be there. No, he won’t be able to take pictures with his camera-phone, but still: he’ll be able to tell his grandchildren he was there, won’t he? And then there’s the tourist boost this will give the area. Just think of it! People will see how lovely Fermanagh is and they’ll only be lining up to get visiting us, thus doing wonders for the local economy. What’s that? They said the same thing about the visit by the Windsor woman, and tourism numbers actually fell in the year after? God, I hadn’t heard that. Maybe that was because there are a lot of anti-royalists about. This is different. This is the elected heads of so many states - people will be certain to follow their lead and visit. And spend their money, of course. How much money will the G8 itself generate? I don’t know...Yes, of course they’ll bring their own chefs and food and stuff - you don’t want to risk somebody poisoning them, do you? ...That’s a shameful thing to say, shameful. OK, I can’t see Cameron or Merkel going down to the village to buy a pint of milk or some Cornflakes or a packet of fags, but at the same time somebody local must be benefiting. And think what it’ll do for the hotel - what an ad! It’ll flash round the world.
Yes, to every nook and cranny. To remote spots in Asia, in Africa, in South America - places where people barely scrape out an existence. Sure it’ll be only inspirational for them...Well yes, you could put it differently. You could say the rest of the world will be pressing its nose to the shop window to watch how our leaders live life. How soft their beds are, how sumptuous their banquets, how elegant their surroundings. You could if you were that nasty negative sort of person...EH? Oh well, now you’re preaching the politics of envy. Just because you can’t have that sort of lavish life-style, just because there are millions of people in Africa and South America living in appalling conditions, doesn’t mean the G8 people shouldn’t be given a proper lfeather-bedded time when they visit us. How else would their brains work so they could continue running the financial and political world in the clever, wealth-developing way they’ve been doing for the last ten years?
It’s humbling, that’s what it is. To have these immensely powerful men and women, who could have gone anywhere in the world, deciding to come to Fermanagh and put the Province on the map...OK, who was it? Who shouted that remark about dreary spires? Get him out of here this instant. We all know that a massive honour has been bestowed on humble little Fermanagh and the Province. Thank you, Mr Cameron sir. Never let it be said that Britain forgets us. We are eternally in your debt. And no, I don’t mean the £7 billion each year. Oh, I feel quite dizzy with delight. Give me your arm, Marjorie...