Arlene Foster references brilliant Father Ted scene in resignation speech after being ousted as DUP leader

Arlene Foster references brilliant Father Ted scene in resignation speech after being ousted as DUP leader

ARLENE FOSTER referenced a brilliant scene from Father Ted during her resignation speech yesterday afternoon.

The former DUP leader and First Minister issued her final speech in the Stormont chamber yesterday after she was ousted following an internal party coup which led to her being replaced as DUP leader by Edwin Poots.

The position of First Minister is expected to go to Lagan Valley MLA Paul Givan.

In her final speech, she thanked her colleagues for the opportunity to address the chamber "one last time", and promised not to sing- referencing when she belted out a Frank Sinatra song at the British Irish Council summit last week.

She said that "all periods of leadership must come to an end" and "whilst I will miss the exchanges from this seat, I am looking forward to fresh challenges".

The Unionist politician also referenced Ireland's all-time favourite comedy when she revealed a colleague had suggested her closing speech "should be in the style of Father Ted Crilley when he received the Golden Cleric Award".

The comment brought ripples of laughter from the chambers, as all are only too familiar with the classic scene where Ted uses his speech to call out, by name, in an hours-long rambling speech, everyone who ever cheated him, coining the now-famous phrase "And now, we move on to liars".

But while the ousted First Minister could almost certainly have had a long list of people who she could have condemned Father-Ted style, Ms Foster said she decided "after a moment of reflection ... perhaps not".

She instead used her speech to promise she would continue to "speak up on behalf of women in public life, as well as our children" as a private citizen, and wished Edwin Poots and Paul Givan the best of luck as they take over her roles.

The Unionist politician also reiterated that she still strongly believes "in the good sense of the people of Northern Ireland to continue to recognise the value of our place within the United Kingdom" as the potential for a border poll continues to grow.

"A UK that has helped see us through the worst ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic, with unprecedented financial support", she said, and "our incomparable National Health Service, and a national vaccination programme that is the envy of the rest of the world."