News, Politics

Stores Near G8 Summit Location Getting Temporary Facelift

A street image of Belcoo, Ireland in 2007. Image: Kenneth Allen
A street image of Belcoo, Ireland in 2007. Image: Kenneth Allen

Some businesses in Northern Ireland are getting a facelift before some of the world’s most powerful leaders meet there later this month.

The G8 Summit will take place in Ireland, June 17 to 18.

The G8 Summit (in this case, “summit” means “meeting”) brings together the leaders of eight of the world’s wealthiest countries. They are: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US. The European Union (EU) is also represented at the meeting.

More than 100 businesses in a small town called Belcoo have been “spruced up,” according to news agency Reuters.

Some businesses have been made more attractive with fake store fronts. Some ugly and crumbling buildings have been torn down. Others have been covered by huge billboards, according to Reuters.

The businesses are near a golf course where the G8 leaders will meet.

So instead of Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper or U.S. president Barack Obama seeing ugly storefronts, they’ll see posters of nice storefronts instead.

More than $3-million dollars have been spent by the government in Northern Ireland to make the villages look nicer.

At one store, which used to be a butcher’s shop but is now empty, colourful stickers have been put on the windows to make it look like it’s busy inside, Reuters reported.

Nearby, another empty business looks like a “thriving office supply shop.” And an ugly security fence in Irvinestown, Northern Ireland, has been papered with a huge poster of a scenic lake and blue sky with puffy white clouds.

The people who live in the town say the money should be spent on actually helping the businesses rather than just making them look good. They also wonder what will happen to the stores after the leaders have gone home again.

The temporary improvements will help the area to look attractive, when the “spotlight” is on the town, said Alex Attwood, Northern Ireland Environment Minister in a statement.

He said it will help to bring tourists to the towns, and encourage them to stay longer.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
After reading this article, what is your reaction? Do you think that this money is well-spent, or do you think it could have been better spent? Pick a side and think of three arguments to support your thinking.

Reading Prompt: Responding to and Evaluating Texts
Why do you think leaders from these eight powerful countries meet? What issues do you think they discuss? What decisions might come out of these meetings?

Why do you think the summit is only for 8 countries and not more?

Make judgements and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Evaluate the effectiveness of both simple and complex texts based on evidence from the texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Grammar Feature: Suffix
A suffix is a group of letters added to the end of a word that change its meaning. For example, farmer, dreadful and behaving all have suffixes. 

Read through the article,  find all of the words that have a suffix and then circle the root word.