Get to know MLA Paul Givan as he answers Ulster Star’s questions
Lagan Valley DUP MLA Paul Givan was first elected to Lisburn City Council at the age of 23, he was then co-opted to the Assembly in 2010, serving as Communities Minister in 2016/2017. He has taken time out to answer some of Ulster Star’s questions so that his constituents can get to know him better.
What would your ultimate death-row meal be?
One of the best meals I’ve enjoyed is from Parson’s Nose in Hillsborough – pork belly and chunky chips with all the veg, followed up with sticky toffee pudding.
Do you have a favourite day of the week?
It would have to be Sunday when I try to take a break from the normal work routine and spend more time with my family, and I enjoy attending my local Church.
What are your top three desert island reads?
I have to confess after reading reports and work related material most days I struggle to get into a good book! But if I had to choose a book it would be based on true stories and of a historical nature.
How do you ‘switch off’ after a long day of work - do you have a favourite pastime?
I enjoy playing sport and most weeks when not in Covid restrictions I would play football with a group of friends and go to the gym. Currently I have signed up to online exercise classes but my family are looking forward to getting the TV and living room back to themselves now outside sports are allowed again in limited numbers.
Is there anything you cannot live without? (eg your phone, coffee).
My phone is vital in carrying out my job with the changeable nature of work throughout the day it is the means of contact for my constituents, colleagues and with three daughters, my girls!
On the rare occasion when I’ve left the phone at home you realise how dependant you are upon it, but also the calmer and less stressful your day can be.
Tell us something people might not know about you.
I am a keen volleyball player and entered the Northern Ireland Beach Volleyball Competition with a friend and whilst winning one of the games was well schooled by the professionals!
Once lockdown ends and restrictions ease, what are you looking forward to doing the most?
I look forward to putting my cooking skills to use and having a BBQ with family and friends. Human beings are by nature sociable and no amount of zoom calls can be any substitute for real interaction and meeting in person.
Where is your favourite place to eat out (post-restrictions) in Lisburn?
Café Vic-Ryn is a favourite spot of mine with easy parking, great food, a lovely environment and you nearly always bump into someone you know for a catch-up.
In normal times (pre-pandemic) can you describe your perfect day in Lisburn?
Breakfast in one of our local coffee shops, a trip to Wallace Park with the family and dinner with friends at home followed by a walk in one of rural parks like Moira Demnse for an evening sunset.
What is your earliest memory of Lisburn?
Growing up beside Thievpal Barracks, one of my earliest memories was the number of soldiers you would have seen on patrol in their vans and also walking through Duncan’s Dam where I spent many days as a child playing at the back of our home in Pond Park.
In the town I can remember going to the old swimming pool at Smithfield square and the great times spent there jumping off the top diving board.
How would you sum up Lisburn in three words?
Community, resilient and vibrant.