Sir Jeffrey Donaldson: My favourite room

Jeffrey Donaldson at home relaxing in his study
Jeffrey Donaldson at home relaxing in his study
  • Sir Jeffrey Donaldson tells Julie-Ann Spence about his retreat in his home outside Dromore

Sitting in his study, looking out over the rolling hills of the Co Down countryside, it is easy to see why Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, MP for Lagan Valley, has chosen this as his favourite room in his house.

The Donaldson family moved to their home, appropriately named Mourne View, 15 years ago, having lived in Moira village for 10 years.

Jeffrey Donaldson relaxes in his favourite room at his home

Jeffrey Donaldson relaxes in his favourite room at his home

One of the attractions of the house was the stunning view over the countryside to the Mourne Mountains, where he grew up. And Jeffrey admits that when it came to choosing a room for his study, the view from the first floor window was top of his list.

The study, with a vaulted ceiling clad in wood and floor to ceiling windows, is filled with books, photographs, and cherished mementoes of his many travels around the world.

“When this place became available it was just what we were looking for,” explained Jeffrey. “I could actually see the Mourne Mountains and that always reminds me of home.

“I chose this room for my study because it has a great view over the countryside and I knew it was somewhere I could relax and think, away from the humdrum political life and the busyness of Westminster.”

The room is filled with unusual objects which reflect Jeffrey’s many passions, including of course politics, as he points out a photograph of himself during his first Prime Minister’s Question Time when he was first elected, and a bound copy of his maiden speech.

However, there is more to the room than politics. The first object Jeffrey reaches for as one of his favourites is a small New Testament.

“This belonged to a First World War soldier from Canal Street in Lisburn called Lamont,” he explained. “I am chairman of the WW1 Centenary Committee in Northern Ireland so one day a constituent came to my office and asked if I would like to have it. They knew of my interest in WW1 and also the importance I place on faith.”

The room also has many reminders of Egypt, a country Jeffrey has visited many times over the years and most recently as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy.

The importance of family is also very clear in the study, with photographs of his wife and daughters around the room. He also proudly shows off photographs of his two grandfathers, whom he said had a great influence on him growing up.

Jeffrey is also a great fan of Sir Winston Churchill and has reminders of the great man in the study, including a porcelain statuette that was presented to him by a constituent.

Something that many people may not know is that Jeffrey and his wife are very big fans of Formula One racing.

Jeffrey chairs the All Party Parliamentary Committee on Formula One but he admits that his wife is an even bigger fan than he is.

And as reminder of their mutual love of the sport, Jeffrey proudly displays a miniature replica of the car that Lewis Hamilton drove to victory in a grand prix.

The MP admits that he is under strict instructions not to bring any more mementoes into the room but he was allowed one last keepsake - the pen he used to sign the deal between the DUP and the Conservatives after the last election.