Northern Ireland news

First Minister responds to RHI ‘haters' through Facebook

The DUP leader posted a picture on Friday of a guinea pig with rose-shaped pink glasses alongside the message "Can't see all the haters when I got my love glasses on" 
Gareth McKeown

UNDER-fire First Minister Arlene Foster has issued an unexpected response to her "haters" through the medium of social media.

Mrs Foster has faced a barrage of calls to step aside over the botched Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, but hit back in a post on her personal Facebook account.

The DUP leader posted a picture on Friday of a guinea pig with rose-shaped pink glasses alongside the message "Can't see all the haters when I got my love glasses on".

The use of the popular meme provoked a favourable response amongst her more than 3,000 Facebook friends, with more than 350 'likes' and dozens of comments expressing support.

Among those to back the First Minister online were South Belfast MLA Christopher Stalford and former Mid Ulster MLA Ian McCrea.

One friend wrote "Stay strong Northern Ireland needs you".

Another said "Loving is better than fighting, keep those glasses on girl".

"Stay put, stiff upper lip that's what's needed," another well-wisher wrote.

The First Minister posted the picture on her personal Facebook page on Friday morning. It received a positive reaction from her friends, with many leaving messages of support

However, Alliance leader Naomi Long was less impressed.

"They're not haters, they're taxpayers. And angry ones at that," she said.

"We're in the teeth of a political and financial crisis, much of it of her making, and the First Minister opts for this by way of a response to her critics?

"I was excoriated for suggesting the DUP were even more arrogant and belligerent under Arlene Foster than Peter Robinson. I think even he would have baulked at donning 'love glasses'."

A DUP spokesman confirmed Mrs Foster's post from her personal Facebook account was genuine.

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