Disgraced ex-MP Iris Robinson back home
Disgraced former MP Iris Robinson returned to Northern Ireland under the cover of darkness over the weekend.
A DUP statement confirmed that Mrs Robinson is back at the family’s Castlereagh Hills home following months of treatment in England.
She arrived on the overnight Liverpool ferry before dawn on Saturday and was whisked home in her husband’s chauffeur-driven car.
It was reported that Mr Robinson, accompanied by his close protection security team, collected her in a black Mitsubishi four- wheel drive, along with an unidentified woman.
Following media reports of her return, a spokesman for First Minister Peter Robinson confirmed that his wife was at home.
The statement said: “As part of her recuperation and treatment Iris returned home for a few days in July and is presently home.
“Iris travelled, on both occasions, accompanied by a nurse.”
It was also revealed that the former Strangford MP will continue her treatment in Northern Ireland.
“Clearly other arrangements will have to be made if media intrusion hinders her progress and is harmful to her health and well-being,” the spokesperson said.
The media have been warned to keep their distance from Mrs Robinson.
Mr Robinson’s spokesman added: “Peter has asked that Iris be given the privacy to continue on the road to recovery.”
In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph last week, the First Minister said he expected his wife would return to Northern Ireland soon.
Asked about growing speculation that Mrs Robinson may be giving public interviews, he said: “I think there are three reasons why she will not want to make any remarks.
“First of all, she’s a private individual. Secondly, there is a police investigation which has to be completed and, thirdly, she is continuing her treatment.”
Mrs Robinson resigned her MP and MLA posts after details of an affair with 19-year-old Kirk McCambley came to light.
A BBC Spotlight documentary also reported that she had secured £50,000 from two property developers to support Mr McCambley’s cafe, The Lock Keeper’s Inn.
Mr McCambley yesterday declined to make a comment about Mrs Robinson’s return home.
When contacted at the cafe, he said: “I’m sorry, but I have no comment to make.”
Following the revelations about the affair in January, the DUP revealed that the mother of three was receiving “acute psychiatric treatment for depression”.
A police probe into Mrs Robinson’s dealings has yet to be concluded. It is to be followed by an Assembly Standards inquiry into whether Mr Robinson and Mrs Robinson should have declared details of the £50,000 in the register of interests for MLAs.