Belfast Telegraph

Video: Watch the moment Arlene Foster is shown her teenage interview with Jeremy Paxman about IRA school bus bombing

By Claire Cromie

Long before life in politics, Arlene Foster was interviewed on national television by Jeremy Paxman.

Archive footage has been aired on BBC Spotlight, showing the First Minster as a schoolgirl being interviewed about the IRA bombing of her school bus:

Aged 17, she sits alongside a Catholic girl, Madonna Murphy, as Paxman asks: "What is the effect on Enniskillen of incidents like this?"

Madonna says: "It makes you realise it can't go on, like, you feel as if have you to do something to improve relations between Catholics and Protestants."

Paxman responds: "But surely relations are good, I mean you two are friends, are you not?"

"Well, we're not enemies. I suppose we never really talk to each other but we will from now on," says "Madonna.

Arlene replies: "Yeah we always sat apart. In fact everybody sits apart on our bus."

Paxman asks: "And are you going to change that now, Arlene?"

She replies: "Well I think it's up to the whole bus to change it. In fact it's up to the whole of the young people of Northern Ireland to change what is happening, to turn against the men of violence."

Mrs Foster was shown the footage by BBC reporter Declan Lawn, who went behind-the-scenes with the DUP leader in her first month in the role.

She admitted she didn't remember the interview, but recalled that sadly the pupils continued to sit apart on the bus.

Belfast Telegraph


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