First Minister blames lifestyle and ‘not stress’ for heart attack

First Minister Peter Robinson pictured during a visit of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on Saturday with James Finnigan from European Tour and Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell
First Minister Peter Robinson pictured during a visit of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club on Saturday with James Finnigan from European Tour and Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell
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First Minister Peter Robinson has blamed his lifestyle for the heart attack he suffered last week.

The DUP leader, who was discharged from hospital on Friday, spoke to the media at the Irish Open golf tournament in Newcastle, County Down, on Saturday.

He said he was “feeling fine” after having three stents inserted.

Mr Robinson insisted his recent health issued were not initiated by the stress of his job and blamed fast food and no exercise.

He told the BBC: “I blame myself and nobody else but myself. The last emails that I was sending were at about four minutes to four in the morning and my men were timed to come at 7.30 to pick me up on that Monday morning, even though it was a bank holiday.

“If you looked at my diet you would cringe - it’s all around snacking and fast foods and all the things that you shouldn’t do.

“Exercise? You’re picked up from the door and dropped at the door, so it’s all the worst lifestyle things.”

The 66-year-old paid tribute to the health professionals who treated him during his stay in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital.

“I really am thankful, right from the ambulance staff who had to work on [me] probably for about an hour before I was taken to Dundonald hospital, they tried to stabilise me and send me on to the Royal Victoria,” he added.

“I was given three stents that helped the flow of blood around the heart and had a further procedure on Thursday.”

He said he would accept the secretary of state’s invitation for talks at Stormont on Tuesday on the welfare reform crisis.

“I’ll take it easy for the next couple of weeks. I’ve got a good team around me,” he said.

“But I want to concentrate on the crisis issues. The secretary of state has asked party leaders to meet her. With respect to her I will go, but I do make it clear that we will not be renegotiating.”

Earlier on Twitter Mr Robinson paid tribute to those who had sent their best wishes for a speedy recovery on social media.