Paul Givan (Paul Jonathan Givan) was born 12 October 1981. He is a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) politician from Northern Ireland who has served as First Minister of Northern Ireland since 2021.
Paul Givan of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) replaced Arlene Foster as Northern Ireland’s First Minister on Thursday 17 June 2021 after the region’s main parties staved off a fresh political crisis that threatened to lead to a snap election.
Paul Givan Biography:
Paul Givan Education
Givan was educated at Laurelhill Community College, where he studied Business and History and is a graduate of the University of Ulster where he obtained a degree in Business Studies and completed an Advanced Diploma in Management Practice.
Paul Givan Political Career
Paul Jonathan Givan is a Democratic Unionist Party politician from Northern Ireland who has served as First Minister of Northern Ireland since 2021. He started his political career in Poots’ constituency and Stormont offices as a part-time assistant.
He later worked as special advisor for the now-DUP leader when he was Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure and again in 2009 when he was Minister of the Environment.
In 2010 he began his assembly career when he was co-opted in the Lagan Valley constituency to replace Jeffrey Donaldson.
Givan had been serving as chair of the Stormont Justice Committee ahead of his nomination as Foster’s replacement.
He has been a somewhat controversial figure and is likely to be an unpopular choice among many nationalists.
Back in 2016, Givan was criticised by leading members of Sinn Féin when, as Minister for Communities, he cut funding for the Líofa Gaeltacht scheme, which allowed people on lower incomes to go to the Donegal Gaeltacht and learn Irish.
The email informing employees of the decision was signed off “Happy Christmas and Happy New Year” and led to Givan being branded an “ignoramus” by then Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams.
He later made a u-turn, stating that he had identified the funding necessary for the scheme and claimed his decision had not been a political one. However Sinn Féin has described this funding cut as the “straw that broke the camel’s back” in the context of the collapse of power-sharing in 2017.
Before this controversy, Givan had been given credit for his praise of the GAA. During a highly publicised visit to a GAA club in Lisburn while he was sports minister in 2016, he expressed support for the new Casement Park GAA stadium project in west Belfast. He also paid tribute to the GAA and the “value that it brings to young people”.
Givan, who is a member of the Free Presbyterian Church, which was founded by Ian Paisley, has previously supported Creationism. In 2008 put forward a motion calling for schools in Lisburn to teach alternatives to the theory such as Intelligent Design.
In February this year he brought a private member’s bill seeking to change the law in Northern Ireland to prevent abortions in cases of non-fatal disabilities.
Following the announcement from Poots, Givan said he was “privileged and humbled to have the opportunity to serve our people in the days ahead”.
“When I first entered politics I never believed I would follow in the footsteps of Dr Paisley, Peter Robinson and Arlene Foster. I am indebted to their service and sacrifice,” he said.
“The challenges are significant as we emerge from Covid and seek to rebuild our community and public services but our strength is in our people and I have no doubt we can overcome these challenges and build a better future for all our people.”
If Sinn Féin does not block his appointment and there is a smooth transition of power, Givan is set to take over from Arlene Foster next Monday.
DUP leader Edwin Poots nominates Paul Givan as Northern Ireland’s new first minister despite concerns within own party
Paul Givan First Minister
Paul Givan of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) replaced Arlene Foster as Northern Ireland’s First Minister on Thursday after the region’s main parties staved off a fresh political crisis that threatened to lead to a snap election.
Givan is a close ally of new DUP leader Edwin Poots. He needed to secure the consent of the party’s main partners in the region’s power-sharing government, Irish nationalist rivals Sinn Fein, to take the post.
Sinn Fein insisted the nomination be accompanied by the implementation of the cultural elements of a political agreement struck last year and the parties agreed a means to do so in late night talks on Wednesday.
Paul Givan Creationist
Paul Givan, a creationist who has in the past supported the teaching of alternatives to scientific theory of evolution in schools in Lisburn.
Creationists believe the Earth was created by a greater being, God, and that the accounts in the book of Genesis are literally true. They believe that Genesis contradicts the theory of evolution and that it should be taught as part of the science curriculum.
Paul Givan Irish Language
A power-sharing crisis in Northern Ireland was averted after ministers pledged to bring in new laws that would give the Irish language equal status in the province. The problem had arisen following the ousting of Arlene Foster by her DUP colleagues as leader and first minister.
Paul Givan of the DUP, who represents Lagan Valley, was 17 June 2021 formally nominated as the new first minister after the opposing sides reached a deal. He said: “We must recognise there is more in common than separates us. Northern Ireland is a special place.”
Paul Givan Church
Paul Givan religious beliefs are central to his identity. Givan is a member of the Free Presbyterian Church, which was founded by Ian Paisley. He is a committed Christian and has spoken about attacks on church buildings, the need for consistency in the approach to places of worship during Covid restrictions and abortion – with a bill in his name seeking to protect those diagnosed with non-fatal conditions such as Down’s Syndrome, club foot and cleft lip, all of which can currently be aborted up until birth.
Paul Givan says: “My faith determines my values; it’s intrinsic to who I am. I am a Christian, first and foremost, a husband, a father, a unionist.” He added in response to how he felt about dying: “Death doesn’t frighten me at all because I’ve put my trust in the Lord.”
Paul Givan Controversies
Paul Givan brought a private member’s bill seeking to change the law in Northern Ireland to prevent abortions in cases of non-fatal disabilities.
In September 2007, he attracted controversy because he proposed a motion to contact all secondary school science departments in the city of Lisburn asking them to supply information as to the plans they had to “develop teaching material in relation to creation, intelligent design and other theories of origin”.
He is also unpopular among some for cutting funding for an Irish language bursary scheme in 2016 while communities minister, which was cited as one of the reasons for the following breakdown in the power sharing arrangement with Sinn Fein.
Paul Givan Family:
Paul Givan Wife
Paul Givan married Emma at Lisburn Free Presbyterian Church in 2004 and they have three children.