Come on Arlene: DUP chief up for the match with Ernesiders

Fermanagh's Aidan Breen after Sunday's win over Monaghan

DUP leader Arlene Foster has said she will consider attending Fermanagh’s appearance in the Ulster SFC fiinal.

Foster indicated she could be in Clones, Co Monaghan on June 24 for the Erne County’s first Ulster SFC final outing in a decade, following their shock victory over Monaghan on Sunday.

The DUP boss’s comments came after she tweeted praise for Fermanagh after their semi-final success at Healy Park in Omagh.

The tweet was welcomed by many on social media as a positive gesture and even prompted a member of the Fermanagh squad to tweet her back with the offer of a ticket.

Foster, a Northern Assembly member for Fermanagh and South Tyrone, said she had not been “formally” invited but would consider saying yes if one arrived.

“I will consider any invitation that’s sent to me,” she said yesterday.

I understand somebody tweeted me an invitation or a ticket, but of course I haven’t been formally invited yet and I’ll wait and see what happens.

In the past, unionist politicians have been uneasy at the prospect of attending GAA matches in Northern Ireland, given that the Irish national anthem is played at the start of games. That would be less of a concern for a match played across the border in Clones, Co Monaghan.

“There are a lot of my neighbours and friends who are very much GAA supporters and for them this is a huge deal to actually get to the Ulster final because the last time was 2008,” explained Foster. “They weren’t expected to win yesterday — well maybe the Fermanagh team were expecting to win — but a lot of people and a lot of pundits outside of Fermanagh didn’t rate their chances and the fact they have won, I just acknowledged that and said congratulations to my fellow county men.”

On the prospect of attending the final, she added: “As I understand it the final is on Sunday 24 June.

“Obviously there is a lot of water that will go under the bridge between this and that and let’s wait and see.”


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