Belfast Telegraph

Home News Politics

Still no confirmation if DUP's Foster will attend GAA final

Arlene Foster sent a tweet congratulating the Fermanagh GAA team on making the Ulster Final
Arlene Foster sent a tweet congratulating the Fermanagh GAA team on making the Ulster Final

By David Young

The DUP and GAA were last night staying tight-lipped as speculation mounted over whether Arlene Foster would attend tomorrow's Ulster Final in Clones

The match between Mrs Foster's native Fermanagh and Donegal will take place at St Tiernach's Park in the Co Monaghan town, just a few miles across the border.

The former First Minister was brought up close to Roslea in the Erne County.

She sparked speculation she might attend when she congratulated the team on their shock semi-final victory over hot favourites Monaghan. They are now 70 minutes away from possibly lifting their first ever Anglo-Celt trophy.

Her party declined to comment on whether she would be slipping over the border to watch her first Ulster Final.

And when we asked the Ulster Council of the GAA if it had received any confirmation regarding her attendance, a spokesman said: "Well, she hasn't rung me!"

He added: "But if she comes, we'll make her very welcome."

Mrs Foster last week met the Fermanagh GAA team and was presented with a green and white county jersey as excitement over the game intensified.

Former Sinn Fein MLA Phil Flanagan, who was at the meeting, said her wishing the players success was "an important step in reconciliation".

Writing on social media after meeting the team, the DUP leader said: "Pleased to wish my neighbours in @Fermanagh GAA all the best for the Ulster Final.

"I might not have had many tips for them - but a lovely welcome from the team and management... It's Fermanagh's year."

Local Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew said she'd be delighted to welcome Mrs Foster to the Clones showdown.

"If Arlene was at the match it would send a very positive signal to everybody," she added.

The DUP leader even gets a namecheck in a fan's song based on Avicii's Wake Me Up with lyrics specially written by local man John Slowey.

Recorded in Blakes of the Hollow pub in Enniskillen, it has gained massive viewing figures on video sharing site Vimeo.

Among the lyrics is: "We sent an invite out to Arlene, she wants to sit with Aidy Breen..."

Breen is a player with Fermanagh club Tempo Maguires and a stalwart of the county side.

Earlier this week Mrs Foster signalled her intention to attend an LGBT event at Stormont as part of an outreach effort.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph