Arlene Foster's son (10) expresses support for shared education

First Minister Arlene Foster and son Ben pictured at the Fermanagh County Show in August with prize-winning hen Rosie. Picture by Cliff Donaldson
Gareth McKeown

THE 10-year-old son of First Minister Arlene Foster has appeared in a British national newspaper espousing the benefits of shared education.

Ben Foster, the youngest son of the DUP leader, was pictured and quoted in the Daily Telegraph at the weekend, in an article centred on the relationships between Protestant and Catholic children in Fermanagh following the 1987 Enniskillen IRA bomb.

Mrs Foster, who is married to Brian and the mother of three children, Sarah, George and Ben, is not referenced by the journalist, nor is her position, despite her son being quoted and the piece entitled: 'Remembrance Day bombing 30 years on: how parents in Northern Ireland are teaching children to put aside religious differences'.

The Daily Telegraph article featured children from Brookeborough Primary School and the nearby Catholic St Mary's Primary School and the relationship between both sets of pupils.

When asked about his views on the collaboration, Ben, who appeared in a photograph with three other children, says: "I’ve got a lot of friends at St Mary’s," and adds: "I always can’t wait for shared education day."

Back in March a planned shared campus between the two schools was given the go ahead by the Stormont government as part of a major investment in shared and integrated education.

How the Daily Telegraph reported the views of Arlene Foster's son Ben (far left) on shared education 

The announcement marked the release of the first tranche of half a billion pounds for various projects in the north over the next 10 years.

At the time the First Minister said: "I particularly look forward to visiting the new shared campus in Brookeborough in my home county of Fermanagh."

Mrs Foster has previously expressed her support for more shared schools across Northern Ireland.

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