Timmy Mallett

Members' Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 10:45 am on 16 April 2024.

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Photo of Deborah Erskine Deborah Erskine DUP 10:45, 16 April 2024

I take the opportunity to celebrate Northern Ireland and the fabulous, unique tourism product that is its people. One man has shown that spirit of friendliness and hospitality as he weaves his way around on his circumnavigation of Northern Ireland: Timmy Mallett.

Timmy has a real zest for life. Over the past number of weeks, he has showcased Northern Ireland to his social media followers across the world in the most enthusiastic way. Going off the beaten track, he has spent his time acquainting himself with our history and way of life. He spent quite a bit of time in Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Can you blame him? It really is one of the most beautiful parts of Northern Ireland. He has found a friend in John from 'The Impartial Reporter'. He has been to Belleek Pottery, and he has met the Archbishop of Armagh, Olga in the Derg Arms and our very own deputy First Minister. He has celebrated people the length and breadth of this place. He even showcased the work of Gerry from Northern Ireland Water, who was collecting samples from Lough Erne.

Northern Ireland is a place to visit. Who, 30 years ago, would have thought so? We have come a long way in opening our doors and showcasing ourselves to the world. We should support and encourage our tourism and hospitality sector in what are challenging circumstances.

Timmy has made me very proud of Northern Ireland over the past few weeks. He has showcased Northern Ireland in a way in which no tourism strategy ever could. I thank him for all the laughs and joy that he has spread on social media about Northern Ireland, even in the glorious rain.