Lagan Valley MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson shares an insight into his life in the Star’s new Q&A
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has represented the people of Lagan Valley for the past 23 years. He is passionate about representing the area and was knighted for his services in 2016. Now here are a few things you may not know about him:
What would your ultimate ‘death row’ meal be?
I would hope never to be on death row but if I was, it would surely be seafood bisque for starters, steak smothered in pepper sauce with champ and lots of vegetables for mains and my wife’s famous chocolate pudding for dessert.
Do you have a favourite day of the week?
Sundays are my favourite day as it’s the only day of the week I get to relax properly with my family.
What are your top three desert island reads?
a/ Wisdom For Each Day by Billy Graham – an inspirational way to start any day;
b/ Lost Lives – a record of the tragic loss of life during the troubles in Northern Ireland and a constant reminder of why we must all work for a peaceful future;
c/ The Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien.
How do you ‘switch off’ after a long day of work – do you have a favourite pastime?
If I have time, I love to walk, whether on the rural roads of County Down or in the Mournes. It’s a great way of connecting with the beauty of our lovely homeland and escaping the busyness of political life.
If not, I love watching an episode of Dad’s Army – the old style humour is terrific.
Is there anything you cannot live without?
Freedom – we take our freedom in this country so much for granted and the past year of the covid pandemic has reminded me that we need to value more the freedoms we enjoy.
I for one will never again take them for granted.
Tell us something people might not know about you.
I am the oldest of eight children!
Once lockdown ends and restrictions ease, what are you looking forward to doing the most?
My wife and I are huge fans of Formula One racing and I can’t wait to get back to a Grand Prix and witness the exhilaration of those cars speeding around a race track.
Where is your favourite place to eat out (post restrictions) in Lisburn?
We really are spoilt for choice with some great restaurants in Lisburn but I have promised Stevie Higginson that Square Bistro will be early on my list.
In normal times (pre-pandemic) can you describe your perfect day in Lisburn?
I love my work as a constituency MP and so I am basing this on a working day and after a busy morning in the office,
I would have a light lunch in a city centre coffee shop and go for a quick stroll in the beautiful Castle Gardens. The afternoon would be spent out and about in the community meeting people, getting to know what is going on locally and then I would meet up with my wife and have dinner at a local restaurant before watching a film in the Omniplex.
Can’t wait to get back to this kind of normality again.
What is your earliest memory of Lisburn?
My father worked on a farm on the outskirts of Lisburn when I was just a toddler and we lived for a time on the Pinehill Road. The local people were so kind to us as children and I never imagined that one day I would be their local MP!
How would you sum up Lisburn in three words?
A City ‘with great potential’. I really believe that Lisburn can become a great city if we all pull together to make it happen. Our city motto is ‘Ex Igne Resurgam’ – out of the fire is renewal. Perhaps that’s the kind of inspiration we need to build our recovery post-pandemic. Our forefathers had to do it after the great fire. So must we.