Belfast Telegraph

Ibiza, Southampton and Cavan... Northern Ireland politicians reveal their holiday destinations

Kellie Armstrong: Dingle

Rachel Woods: Ibiza
Kellie Armstrong: Dingle
Kellie Armstrong: Dingle
Lady Sylvia and Sir Jack

Lady Sylvia Hermon (63) is an independent unionist MP for North Down. She has two grown up sons with her late husband, former Chief Constable Sir Jack Hermon, who passed away in 2008. She says:

"I only ever go to Scotland. When Jack was well and the boys were very young we chose to go to Loch Lomond for our holidays. We've been going to Scotland for over 20 years and the boys and I have no intention of changing that.

"It's lovely, you don't have to fly, you get just the ferry and drive off - packed bags, self-catering wooden lodge on the shore. I love going back there. I like the memories... 'This is where Jack taught the boys to row a boat, this is where Jack taught the boys to attempt to play golf'. It's just a lovely relaxing holiday that suits us."

William Irwin (62), DUP MLA for Newry and Armagh, is a father-of-five who is married to Olive. He says:

"We're heading over to Wales and the south of England for seven nights, to go to Bournemouth and Southampton. Olive and I are taking the car over and getting the ferry from Dublin to Holyhead.

"Wales is beautiful with the hills and valleys. I'm a countryside person. Big cities are okay for a few days but that's enough. On our way back we're going to the Welsh agricultural show, one of the biggest shows in the UK. It's right in the heart of Wales. We've been there before and usually meet a lot of people from Northern Ireland. In fact, the last time I was there, I met my neighbour. In the past we've gone to Spain on some occasions. I don't like it too hot, neither of us do. I don't like long flights either, two or three-hour flights maximum. My brother Stephen lives in Australia and I haven't been out there. Just the thought of the flight is enough for me.

"Being a politician, my phone's never switched off. For me being on holiday, it's a matter of getting cut off from everything and relax a bit."

Kellie Armstrong (48), Alliance MLA for Strangford, is married to Barry and they have a daughter. She says:

"This summer my daughter Sophia is getting her GCSE results so we're not heading far away and staying closer to home. We're having a few days in the south.

"And because I live in the most easterly point of the island, we thought we'd head to the most westerly point - Dingle.

"And being part of the Stormont party talks, I also need to be travelling distance should anything become more urgent.

"I think the best thing about holidays is getting away with the family. We like to go away on historical holidays.

"We've taken in the sights of Egypt, Greece and Turkey but we haven't done anything in Asia so it's somewhere I'd like to go next."

Glenn Barr (40), UUP councillor for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, is married to Andrea. They have three children, one daughter and two sons. He says:

"We're going away as a family to Cavan for two or three days next month to stay in a log cabin. We'll go for walks and do some fishing.

"After the election we headed away to get some family time in Portugal. I didn't get to see the kids properly for about five or six weeks because of the election.

"The phone never stopped while I was away. It's one of those things, as a politician you want to be accessible 24/7. The first thing I look for in a holiday is sun, and then it's, 'Is there a pool for the kids'?

"I haven't ever really had a bad holiday, and now it's family, they come first."

Rachel Woods (30) is a Green Party councillor for Ards and North Down. She says:

"I'm going to Ibiza at the end of August with a group of friends. It was my 30th during the election but I didn't have a chance to celebrate properly and one of my friends had her 40th, so it's a big joint event.

"This is not a very typical holiday for me, though. I go snowboarding each year, so this is my first sun holiday in a very long time.

"We're going to Ibiza for a week. Two nights we're going to see DJs but the rest of the time I'm going paddle-boarding, walking or just relaxing in the shade. I need very little sun!

"My out-of-office will be on but I will be looking for emails and trying my best to respond. I've been on ski lifts and have sent emails.

"For me the best thing about holidays is spending proper time with family and friends."

Belfast Telegraph


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