Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland celebrities, politicians and even a pub take on '10-year challenge'


Alliance leader Naomi Long: 2009
Alliance leader Naomi Long: 2009
Alliance leader Naomi Long: 2019
Emma Little-Pengelly: 2009
Emma Little-Pengelly: 2019
Barra Best: 2009
Barra Best: 2019
Nicola Coughlan: 2009
Nicola Coughlan: 2019
SF’s Sinead Ennis: 2009
SF’s Sinead Ennis: 2019
Sunflower Bar
Sunflower Bar
Allan Preston

By Allan Preston

Celebrities, politicians and even a pub in Northern Ireland have shared their '10-year challenge' snaps online at the start of 2020.

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long posted pictures on Twitter of her time as Belfast Lord Mayor in 2009 alongside her current role as a member of the European Parliament.

"In 09/10 I was councillor, Lord Mayor, MLA plus Deputy Leader," she said.

"Since then, been MP and now MEP and Leader. Ups and downs (include) surgery for endometriosis and cancer plus a death threat or two.

"But, still standing and excited for the #New20s."

Derry Girls star Nicola Coughlan, who plays Clare in the hit comedy series, shared a photo from 2009 and a recent red carpet pic from the Baftas in 2019.

"It's been a mad 10 years, onto the next," she said.

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Before appearing on the Great Celebrity Bake Off special on Channel 4 last night she shared her reflections on an eventful decade.

"I feel like all the things I learned could be a horrible inspirational quote but honestly it's nice to be nice, cut bad people out ya life, follow your dreams, live in the moment and be grateful. Bleurgh - sorry but it's all true".

BBC weather presenter Barra Best posted two contrasting forecasts on social media, saying "New Year's outlook - 10 years apart. I think I've weathered well".

Sinn Fein South Down MLA Sinead Ennis shared a picture of her wedding day in 2009 and another from 2019 with her husband and two children.

Emma Little-Pengelly, the former DUP MP for South Belfast, showed off contrasting hairstyles with the hashtag #BlondeEmma.

Having lost her Westminster seat by a huge margin to the SDLP's Claire Hanna, this week she told the Belfast Telegraph she has yet to decide if she will remain in politics. She now intends to spend some time volunteering abroad at a wildlife sanctuary.

West Tyrone SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan used his 10-year challenge post to remember his grandfather Michael, who passed away in 2011, and reflect on his own political journey with party colleague and friend Steven Edwards.

"Ten years ago we were sat outside a pub across from the gates of Number 10 Downing Street with my late Grandad, Michael," he said. "He took us on a tour of Westminster and for a pint near Number 10!

"Ten years later we have eight elections between us and deeply enjoy helping local people. It probably was the first steps of our political journey. We both look younger!"

One Belfast landmark also managed to get involved, with the Sunflower Bar moving closer to a decade in business.

Established in 2012, the owners of the popular bar and music venue famously chose to keep a security cage erected during the Troubles on the front door. With the cage now painted green with ornamental flower baskets, the bar's Facebook page shared a current photo alongside the premises' previous incarnation as The Tavern in 2009.

A message read: "Happy new year to all you beauties. Here's hoping 2020 and the next decade is a good one, you've earned it!"

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph