VIDEO: First Minister avoids ‘Marilyn Monroe moment’ at plaque unveiling

Arlene Foster turned up to unveil towering unionist figure Thomas Sinclair’s blue plaque on Tuesday – although the weather beat her to it.

It was an extremely blustery day, and as the various attendees gathered outside the First Minister joked that she seemed about to have her “Marilyn Monroe moment” – referring to the actress’ famed scene in which her skirt blows up.

Arlene Foster at Parliament Buildings

Arlene Foster at Parliament Buildings

Shortly before the speeches began, a big gust whipped the blue cloth covering the plaque away – making any “unveiling” impossible.

A man in a high-vis top then had to scale a ladder in order to conceal it again so it could be unveiled, to cheers from the crowd.

She told the scores of onlookers: “I’m very conscious of the weather conditions, and conscious of the fact that if Thomas Sinclair was here he’d probably hand me his bowler hat, because the hair’s not having a good day.”

Mr Sinclair was never a city councillor, and declined the chance to become MP for North Antrim.

First Minister Arlene Foster MLA joined the Ulster Scots Agency and partner organisations to unveil blue plaque honouring the achievements of Ulster Covenant author, Thomas Sinclair

First Minister Arlene Foster MLA joined the Ulster Scots Agency and partner organisations to unveil blue plaque honouring the achievements of Ulster Covenant author, Thomas Sinclair

Chris Spurr, chairman of the Ulster History Circle said: “Exceptionally, he was a man of considerable influence, who never sought public office throughout the political sphere.”

Ian Crozier, CEO of the Ulster-Scots Agency, then took to the microphone to describe the unveiling as a “red letter day”.

He said: “Thomas Sinclair is a man who for too long has been forgotten within history and public awareness in our country. Thomas Sinclair played a massive role in what would become the establishment of Northern Ireland...

“It’s a long overdue recognition.”