Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Monday all the best... Fearghal McKinney

The 51-year-old is a former television journalist and the new SDLP MLA for South Belfast. He lives in the city with his wife Maire and their daughters Kate (16), Anna (14) and Martha (8)

New boy: Fearghal McKinney, watched by his family, signs Stormont register

My best moment

Given recent circumstances it has to be signing the Northern Ireland Assembly Register with my family and the Speaker standing behind me watching. I've wanted to be a representative for a long time and even stood, unsuccessfully, for election in 2010. I'm very proud to have been selected.

My best way to relax

For me the best thing is to have all of my friends and family around on a nice day and cook up a storm on the barbecue so we can all sit outside and natter.

My best job

I'm blessed to have had some brilliant jobs in journalism and in politics. My best job though is where I am now. It's going to bring a new set of challenges that I'm really looking forward to.

My best song

There could be a lot of songs for this, but one is certainly Coney Island by Van Morrison. A great song to play loudly when you're driving on your own.

My best buy

I would have to choose three things – a saxophone, a clarinet and a tin whistle. I used to play music at school and then I was in a jazz band in Enniskillen. These days I use the instruments for stress busters; I pick up one and play whenever I need to unwind.

My best achievement

That is easy, it is having three daughters. I think life is formed around them although the tables are turning. In the last few weeks they've been the ones telling me to go to bed as I keep falling asleep on the sofa at 10pm.

My best advice

It is, 'Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today' – a piece of advice from my father.

My best gift

It was the night of my selection as MLA and I didn't get home until 3am. Of course my daughters had gone to bed by then but they had been told the news late that night. Martha had made me a congratulations poster that she hung on the banisters. It was a lovely thing to come home to.

My favourite film is Forrest Gump. It might appear to be a strange choice but for me it's such a feel-good film. The character always overcomes the odds and does it with a smile on his face.

To Kill A Mocking Bird. I love the character of Atticus Finch. I think that everyone that reads the book aspires to be like him. He really has the courage to stand up for his beliefs.

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