The final instalment of my series of interviews is with the Health minister, Edwin Poots.
I must admit this was the interview I was most nervous about doing but when you meet him in person he is actually a very affable person. What struck me was how relaxed he was for a person in his job and the applause he received during Peter Robinson’s speech shows his popularity among the party faithful.
Apparently he is a reader of the blog-so it does go to show that Slugger does have some friends in high places.
The interview is only around seven minutes long but here are some select quotes.
On his time as Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure he told me that his greatest achievement was ‘burying the Irish language act’ as he believes there was ‘precious little demand for outside of republican circles’ and that despite the trouble over the Maze he ‘relished’ the battle over the issue.
On reaching out to Catholics he said
I would believe that many Roman Catholics are not represented by either the SDLP or Sinn Fein on two key issues. One is grammar schools and there is massive support within the Catholic community for grammar schools and the party that best reflects their views is the DUP. The other is one moral issues and the party that best reflect their views is the DUP.
On the criticism he has faced as Health minister;
Every week we knock doors directly and I know my constituency and the press and media do not reflect the views of the public and particularly columnists…people in media tend to be from a more liberal background. I know what middle Ulster thinks, I know what middle Ulster thinks in both the Protestant and the Catholic community…
Full audio available here
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs