Mid Ulster politicians showered with unusual gifts

Stormont
Stormont

Local politicians have received an array of swanky and unusual gifts from world leaders, international companies, sporting bodies and members of the public, it has been revealed.

Among the unusual gifts received by local Stormont Ministers and MPs are a wall plaque from one of Northern Ireland’s most notorious jails, an annual turkey, Manchester City football tops, and clothing from the woman who might be the next President of the United States.

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill, former Mid-Ulster MP Martin McGuinness, former Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew and Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster shared in the bounty along with their party colleagues from across Northern Ireland.

The list is compiled from a full record of gifts, which was obtained by investigative news website The Detail. There is no allegation of wrongdoing against those who gave or received the gifts.

In December of each of the last three years Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has received a turkey. A turkey was given by a member of the public in 2012 and more turkeys were gifted by Moy Park in 2013 and 2014.

In May 2007 former Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew was given a bottle of 12-year-old single Malt Bushmills with a personalised label from Diageo.

In June 2008 former Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew received two complimentary tickets for a concert by the group “The Police” from music promoter MCD Dublin.

In December 2008 deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness received a ‘Tiffany’ silver coloured pewter trinket box from Mayor Bloomberg.

In October 2007, in her capacity as Environment Minister, Arlene Foster received a commemorative piece of flooring from where the engine of the Titanic was built. The gift came from the Titanic Quarter/ Harland & Wolfe.

In February 2008 the deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness received a silver friendship bowl from the President of the Scottish Parliament.

In December 2012 the deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness received a “wall plaque of Crumlin Road Gaol” from the Crumlin Road Gaol.

In September 2013 First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness received a bolt from the Freedom Tower in New York from Silverstein Properties.

In February deputy First Minister 2010 Martin McGuinness received a book entitled “Barack Obama – The Inaugural Address 2009” from Gordon Brown. In February 2012 Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster received a Manchester City football shirt from Etihad. In April 2012 deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and First Minister Peter Robinson also received Man City football shirts.

In December 2012 the First Minister Peter Robinson and the deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness received clothing described as an “Alicia Adams Alpaca” from Hilary Clinton.