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Northern Ireland leaders enjoy press briefing with a difference


Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill

Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Arlene Foster and Michelle O’Neill

The First and Deputy First Ministers are well used to facing the media at the Covid-19 press conferences, but they took on an even bigger challenge as children all over Northern Ireland put their questions to the pair.

Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill were asked the tough questions around sports and schools in Monday night's Cool FM 'Northern Ireland Junior Press Briefing' on Facebook.

In what may have been some welcome light relief to Mrs Foster and Mrs O'Neill, some of the children also asked if they were on the naughty or nice list, and what their favourite Christmas song was.

Even Santa made a special appearance as he asked what time he will be permitted to fly into Northern Ireland's air space.

Kate from Belfast asked the First and Deputy First Ministers if they have any animals and wished them both a Merry Christmas. Mrs Foster said her family has just welcomed a new cat called India to the family.

"I used to have a cat called Fluffy but unfortunately Fluffy passed away," said the First Minister. "She was quite an old cat and we really missed her which is why India has now joined the family."

Sinn Fein's Mrs O'Neill added that she has a "grand-dog".

"My daughter has a dog and his name is Theo and he's a Yorkipoo, so he's a cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Poodle," she said. "He's a very active wee dog but he brings joy to the house."

Heidi (7) from Dundonald revealed that she asked Santa for a scooter and a hoverboard but wanted to know what Mrs Foster and Mrs O'Neill were getting.

The Deputy First Minister said she wanted a new coat and a pair of runners so she could get active in the New Year, while the First Minister was looking forward to getting a day out with her friends when it's finally safe to do so.

They added that Santa will be flying over Northern Ireland between 7pm and 7am on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and encouraged all the boys and girls to get to bed early!

Belfast Telegraph