| 12.9°C Belfast

DUP's Gary names baby after beloved grandad as he adjusts to life as a new father

Close

DUP Londonderry MLA Gary Middleton pictured with his wife Julie and their son, David (4 days old) at their Bready home yesterday afternoon.

DUP Londonderry MLA Gary Middleton pictured with his wife Julie and their son, David (4 days old) at their Bready home yesterday afternoon.

DUP Londonderry MLA Gary Middleton pictured with his wife Julie and their son, David (4 days old) at their Bready home yesterday afternoon.

An MLA who has become a father for the first time has named his son in honour of his late grandfather.

David Samuel Middleton was born at 1.10am on Friday morning in Londonderry's Altnagelvin Hospital.

His dad Gary has been a DUP MLA for Foyle since April 2015.

Mr Middleton said that he and wife Julie's lives now revolve around their tiny son.

"Julie did so well," he said. "It was a first-time experience for both Julie and myself but I was delighted to be there with her.

"It was so emotional because we didn't find out what gender the little one was until he arrived and we were over the moon to be blessed with a son. Both of us have said that it was the best day of our lives so far."

Mr Middleton also revealed the poignant story behind their new arrival's name.

"Our son is called David Samuel, after my grandfather who sadly passed away last year," he added.

"We are a very tight-knit family and I was very close to my grandfather.

"Obviously when we lost grandad it was a very difficult and sad time for us.

"He would have been delighted to have another great grandchild, and a boy named after him. I've no doubt that he is looking down on us. It's a nice way to remember him."

Mr Middleton said the name David is very special in his family.

"My father's first name is also David, although he goes by the name Trevor, and my middle name is David," he added.

"We looked up the name David and it means 'beloved' and when we first set eyes on our little boy we knew that David was the name for him. Samuel is also a very special name, as that is after one of Julie's grandfathers."

Mr Middleton said the parenting adventure starts now and he's on a steep learning curve.

He paid tribute to the staff and midwives at Altnagelvin Hospital whom he called "exceptional".

He said he is getting used to fatherhood.

"I have changed several nappies," he admitted.

"They have all been very unique experiences. I'm not going to go into the details but I think people with baby boys will know what can sometimes happen when you go to change their nappy. But that all comes as part and parcel of parenthood and I'm more than happy to get stuck in and help Julie."

Gary says that fatherhood is not nearly as stressful as politics and that becoming a father has completely changed his life.

He said he has been overwhelmed with messages from constituents and well-wishers, including DUP leader Arlene Foster.

"Fatherhood is a lot less stressful," he added.

"Being a father is completely different to politics. Obviously it's your loved one and you're so protective, your whole life just changes when you meet this little one.

"The amount of emails and messages from constituents has been totally overwhelming. It has been lovely.

"And Arlene phoned on Friday, the day David was born, to wish us well. She knows what it's like to have a little boy.

"Julie and I have been so blessed, but it's back to work for me on Monday in the constituency office."

Belfast Telegraph