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DUP man’s tribute to republican granny

A DUP Assembly member has dedicated his election victory to his republican grandmother.

David McIlveen — son of the well-known Free Presbyterian Minister of the same name — told MLAs his gran Evelyn had yearned for a united Ireland but given birth to a Free Presbyterian minister, an RUC officer and a member of the Ulster Unionist Party.

“Although she longed for the reunification of Ireland, she taught me by her arguments what an erroneous path that was,” he said in his maiden speech.

“I dedicate my election victory to someone who taught me what political debate is all about, and that although we do not agree on certain issues — or many issues, as the case may be — the place to have those arguments is in an environment such as this.

“I dedicate my victory to that great woman, who had a profound influence on my life, and who, I greatly regret, did not get the opportunity to witness this maiden speech.”

Belfast Telegraph

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