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Foster says Northern Ireland will look its best for papal visit

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

Published 30/11/2016

First Minister Arlene Foster
First Minister Arlene Foster

Arlene Foster has said she will ensure the province "looks its best" if the Pope comes to Northern Ireland.

The leader of the once-staunchly anti-papist DUP said she understood the significance of such a visit, but cautioned against premature excitement.

The First Minister confirmed that "of course" she would meet Pope Francis if he visited as a Head of State.

Asked about sprucing up towns and cities in anticipation of the visit, Mrs Foster said: "I think we better get a visit confirmed first before we start to plan spending money.

"We will have a very difficult budget coming towards us in the next while and we need to very much look at what our priorities will be over the next couple of years.

"Of course, if such a visit is to go ahead and is planned then we will make sure that Northern Ireland looks its best, as we try to do for all of the visitors to Northern Ireland."

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