Arlene Foster breaks into song at British Irish Council summit in Fermanagh

By PA news

Arlene Foster broke into song at the British Irish Council summit, with a line from her favourite Frank Sinatra song, That’s Life.

The Northern Ireland First Minister entertained other political leaders with a serenade during a press conference.

She sang the lyrics: “That’s Life. That’s what all the people say. You’re riding high in April, shot down in May.”

The outburst received a round of applause from British and Irish leaders.

Speaking during one of her last official engagements as Northern Ireland First Minister, she added: “I think it’s a good way to end my political career at the British Irish Council meeting in Fermanagh because it has absolutely encapsulated the totality of relationships and I am pleased everyone is here.”

Mrs Foster left her role as DUP leader earlier this month and is due to step down as First Minister next week.

Speaking at the British Irish Council summit, she said: “I think it’s a good way to end my political career at the British Irish Council meeting in Fermanagh because it has absolutely encapsulated the totality of relationships and I am pleased everyone is here.

“I definitely don’t feel like Norman-No-Mates because my colleagues are all with me here today and we have had a very good meeting.

“The value of the British Irish Council is that we are all equals and that brings a balance and all the administrations share their experiences and we all listen and engage around all of that.”

Mrs Foster said she felt “incredibly proud” that everyone attending the summit was able to see her home county “at its best”.

“That’s the overriding emotion that I am feeling at the moment,” she added.

“I’ve always been proud of Fermanagh and continue to be and continue to be an advocate for those who need me to do that.

“In terms of summing up, I will do that on Monday I’m sure at the Assembly and I am looking forward to that.”

She also said that good advice to the incoming Northern Ireland First Minister Paul Frew was to “watch his back”.

Irish premier Micheal Martin paid tribute to Mrs Foster during the light-hearted press conference.

“I want to warmly thank Arlene for her contribution to public life over the years, not just as First Minister and in the DUP but over many years,” Mr Martin said.

“It takes politicians of courage to build bridges to develop effective, shared Government.

“Throughout the journey of building peace on the island, there will be many ups and downs, there will be many twists and turns, but as political leaders we have to make that commitment to the fundamentals of the Good Friday Agreement and the frameworks of that agreement.

“In that context, I think the imperative is for us, all of us, to make sure that we protect the institutions of the Good Friday Agreement, preserve them and ensure they’re effective and working for the people of Northern Ireland, for the island of Ireland and for all the islands that are represented on the British Irish Council.

“We’ve had a very good engagement this morning. So I want to thank Arlene for that contribution.”

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