The Irish National Party's annual conference was disrupted by alleged anti-fascist protestors outside Enniskillen on November 13, resulting in the arrest of one man and six non-life-threatening injuries.
While Taoiseach Micheál Martin joined Northern Ireland Secretary Chris Heaton-Harris for a Remembrance Sunday commemoration service in Enniskillen town, an unconnected “large altercation” happened five miles down the road at the five-star luxury Lough Erne golf resort.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said on Sunday: “It was reported that a conference, which was being held in the area, had been disrupted by protestors and an altercation broke out.
“Officers attended and calm was restored a short time later.
"Two people were treated at the scene for their injuries with a further four taken to hospital with injuries which are not believed to be life-threatening at this time.”
A 34-year-old man was arrested and charged with affray, attempted grievous bodily harm with intent, criminal damage, and possession of an offensive weapon with intent to commit an indictable offense.
One man has been arrested following an altercation in the Lough Shore Road area of Enniskillen today, Sunday 13th November. pic.twitter.com/tJrLvZoFWm— Police Fermanagh and Omagh (@PSNIFermOmagh) November 13, 2022
Emergency services attended the resort, which hosted the 39th G8 summit in June 2013.
Unnamed witnesses told the Belfast Telegraph that the National Party, based in the Republic, was holding a conference when a minibus full of people arrived and a large brawl took place.
“They said they were anti-fascists. One person got hit with a car, and I think potentially there were knives involved. One man’s hand was bleeding quite badly,” said one witness.
The National Party was founded in 2016 by Cork man Justin Barrett, who was once a leader of Youth Defence, an extreme anti-abortion group prominent in the 1990s.
The group, which does not have elected representatives, is staunchly anti-immigrant. It had strong opposing views to the Covid vaccination and lockdown rules.
*This column first appeared in the November 16 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.