Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Dunluce Castle - A Prime Minister Drops-in

It's been a wet and windy start to the day up on the Causeway Coast. Just before mid-day, a text message dropped into my email box: "Hi Nevin, are you up seeing David Cameron in the Giants Causeway today?" It was from a journalist and Facebook friend. A quick exchange with another Facebook friend confirmed that the Prime Minister had been down to the stones and was presently in the new visitor centre - onward destination unknown.

I grabbed my camera, despatched the dog to the dog-house and set off for the Causeway. Dropping down over Ballylinny Hill I spotted the PSNI out-riders rounding the bend at Carnside and pulled into the side of the road to get a shot of the approaching entourage.

By the time I turned around they'd disappeared from view. I shouted to some folks at a bus-stop in Bushmills and they pointed in the direction of Portrush. Just past Dunluce School, a cyclist confirmed that the visiting party was on its way to Portrush and hadn't turned left to Coleraine. As I swung past Gallows Hill, I spotted PSNI officers at Dunluce Castle and headed in that direction.

I casually joined officials and visitors who were making their way into the castle grounds.

After a short spell in the tower, the Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, helpfully guided the Prime Minister towards a viewing point overlooking the Skerries.

The man in the glasses provided the Prime Minister with a potted history of the Macdonnells and their castle of Dunluce.

The Prime Minister posed with several groups of visitors.

"I like the boots", said the Prime Minister to a member of staff who requested a photo. After this pose, she spotted me and came rushing over, "You're the blogger!!". What could I say? Perhaps I'll get a better copy of that photo of the Prime Minister and the Lady in Red - boots. I'm sure the Secretary of State wouldn't have minded a wee cuddle too!!

Then it was off to Portrush and on for a bite to eat later in Crusoes Coffee Shop in Castlerock. I'm surprised there was apparently no visit to Royal Portrush Golf Club.