At a former butcher’s shop, stickers applied to the windows show a packed meat counter and give the impression that business is booming. Across the street, another empty unit has been given a makeover to look like a thriving office supply shop.
Locals are unimpressed.
Local councils in Northern Ireland have painted fake shop fronts to hide the economic hardship being felt in towns and villages near the golf resort where G8 leaders will meet this month.
Northern Ireland’s government has spent 2 million pounds tackling dereliction over the past two years. Almost a quarter of these funds were freed up in anticipation of Britain hosting the annual Group of Eight (G8) summit on June 17-18.
A dog stretches during his walk in front of a fake shop in Belcoo, Ireland on June 3, 2013. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton