Northern Ireland

Paul Givan: DUP sports minister's first appearance on GAA pitch

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Media captionWatch the DUP's Paul Givan put one over the bar in Lisburn

The executive's DUP sports minister has made his first official appearance on a GAA pitch.

Paul Givan visited St Patrick's club in Lisburn, County Antrim, on Thursday.

He attended an event to mark the awarding of a £50,000 improvement grant and had a go at the game while he was there.

Mr Givan also used the occasion to publicly express his support for the new £76m Casement Park GAA stadium project in west Belfast.

Ball over the bar

Image caption A keen soccer player, it was the first time the sports minister had kicked a Gaelic football

A keen soccer player, it was the first time the minister had kicked a Gaelic football.

He joked afterwards: "I'm used to putting a ball over the bar, but it was good to actually get a point for it this time."

Mr Givan paid tribute to the work the GAA does in the community, adding: "I support the organisation - in terms of the sporting aspect of it - and the value that it brings to young people."

The £50,000 grant will go towards improving the facilities at St Patrick's.

The money came from the Groundwork NI Alpha Programme, which supports communities living near landfill sites.

The club's ground is opposite Thiepval Barracks in Lisburn and is owned by the Army.

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