Belfast Telegraph

RHI scandal: What they’re saying in Arlene Foster and Jonathan Bell's constituencies

Jonathan Bell’s constituency, Strangford

Newenham De Cogan, Newtownards

‘I feel that Jonathan Bell was trying to appeal to a certain sector of the community — the praying beforehand and Paisley quotes was all a bit over the top. It’s hard to know if I believe him. At the end of the day they are both politicians. There will need to be an inquiry to get to the bottom of it but the taxpayer is going to have to pay for it.’

Caron Orr, Newtownards

‘I felt like Jonathan was trying to get the sympathy vote a wee bit because he was getting emotional, but I didn’t feel sorry for him. He made the decision to do the interview so I thought just get on with it. There was no need for the emotion.’

Danielle Murphy, Newtownards

‘I heard Arlene saying that she is happy that her reputation is intact as the truth will come out and ultimately vindicate her — so I think we should wait. If the facts back up what Jonathan Bell said, that’s all he needs, so let’s wait and see.’

Andrew McClurg, Belfast

‘I thought Jonathan Bell was very, very genuine. It’s always hard to read when someone is telling you something that may not be true but in my assessment I felt he was genuine. I felt that there was a lot going on behind the scenes and he didn’t have the power to stop it. Arlene Foster, who I have time for, didn’t get to number one being soft. They should not be washing their dirty linen in public, they should be having these conversations behind closed doors, for the good of the country.’

Sharon McCormick, Newtownards

‘I think the people on the hill are worried for their jobs. I think she’ll go — she will walk before she is pushed. I feel sorry for her because she is getting kicked about a bit.’

Jim Miller, Newtownards

‘I find it hard to know what to believe. Politicians here are absolutely shocking. I would like to see people from both sides of the community put people in, not based on red, white and blue or green, white and gold, but based on who can run the country properly. Some sort of independent panel is needed to find out what the truth of the matter is.’

Julie Robinson, Newtownards

‘I watched the interview and I thought Jonathan Bell came across as honest, but I’ve no confidence in any of them. I have no idea who is responsible. I’ve got to the point where I am fed up with politics and will probably just switch off now.’

By Brett Campbell

Arlene Foster’s constituency, Fermanagh/South Tyrone

Scott Robinson, Enniskillen

“They are just trying to hunt Arlene down as usual. They are all as bad as each other, to be honest. It will soon be yesterday’s news and I think they need to just let her get on with her job.”

Rodney Howe, Enniskillen

“Hopefully it will come out all right for her, but if it doesn’t then I think like every other adult she will just have to take the rough with the smooth.

I think she’s doing the province proud, especially for Fermanagh.”

Dermot Hagan, Enniskillen

“I find it difficult to believe either of them. I wouldn’t be a DUP supporter and I know nothing about Jonathan Bell. But I think she probably gets a lot of support here. They need a judge to sort it out.”

Geraldine Maguire, Trillick

“Unless everything is published, emails, documentations, we will not know the truth.”

Andrew Gault, Enniskillen

“Whether she’s made a mistake or not, at the end of the day there is a lot of pressure on her and people do make mistakes. You learn from your mistakes.

I would rate her very highly because of what she is doing here and across Northern Ireland as a whole. I think people need to step back and see what she is doing instead of going against her.”

Ruth Makhlouf, Lisbellaw

“I think people are waiting to see the bigger picture. She should not resign because she is the best thing this country has ever had as a leader. I haven’t seen or heard everything Jonathan Bell has said. Whether it is sour grapes, I do not know, but I stand fully behind Arlene and all her family.”

Ruby Elliott, Enniskillen

“It has been hard for Arlene, they have been pulling her to pieces, but she is a great girl. Does she have my support? One hundred and 10 per cent. As for Jonathan Bell, I don’t think anyone should take religion into politics.”

Denis Gault, Enniskillen

“Bell is too critical of Arlene. Her reputation hasn’t been ruined by this, no way.”

Ivan Kee, Enniskillen

“There are two sides to this and I would go for Arlene’s side of the story. She seems pretty genuine. I think Arlene is a credible girl and I think she will come out of this.”

May Sweeney, Ballinamallard

“They are giving her a hard time, but she will come out tops because she is strong. They are trying to damage her reputation, but she is a sound person and truthful.”

By Staff Reporter

Belfast Telegraph

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