Cochrane defends Belfast following comments by HBO executive

Alliance East Belfast MLA, Judith Cochrane, has defended Belfast after a senior HBO executive said that the city ‘is not the most cosmopolitan of cities to spend half of the year’, when discussing Games of Thrones that is filmed in Northern Ireland. Michael Lombardo, president of programming, made the comments in an interview with American magazine Vulture. Judith raised the issue during topical questions to the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

Judith Cochrane MLA said: “I think Belfast is one of the most exciting and interesting cities to be in at the minute, with many cultural and social events happening in all parts of the city.

“I am disappointed that Mr Lombardo made these comments. Whilst we have our challenges, the people of Belfast are friendly and welcoming, and I would encourage Mr Lombardo to spend some time in the city to see what Belfast really is like. I hope that the Games of Thrones crew, who do spend half the year here, will continue to enjoy Belfast and the wider area.

“Game of Thrones has been very well supported by NI Screen and I was pleased that the Minister confirmed that they have a close working relationship and that a further two series will be filmed here. The show has helped boost tourism and has put Northern Ireland on the map and, despite these comments, I hope the show will continue to bring tourism benefits to Northern Ireland.”


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