British Prime Minister David Cameron has categorically denied claims that he once went skinny-dipping in the Glens of Antrim.
The Conservative Party leader admitted during a visit to the North of Ireland this week that he loved swimming off the North coast during previous holidays in the area.
Now a friend from his past has claimed that the British leader got close to nature when he went swimming in the Glens some years ago.
Adrian Morrow, managing director of Glenarm Castle Estate, based in the picturesque Glens, confirmed Cameron’s past visits to the BBC.
Morrow also suggested to the paper that the Prime Minister enjoyed a skinny-dip in the local waters.
“He was here a few years ago when he was a very quiet, reserved young chap,” said Morrow.
“He stayed with ourselves. If I remember right he was skinny-dipping in the river.”
The Prime Minister’s office has since denied the story after Cameron had admitted his love for the area during his inaugural speech to the Ulster Assembly.
“This story is simply not true,” said a spokeswoman from the PM’s office in Downing Street after Morrow had responded to Cameron’s earlier remarks.
Addressing the Stormont Assembly on Thursday, Cameron said: “I love coming here whether it's to see the opera, with, of course, Opera Northern Ireland launching their new season in Belfast today, or to walk through the beautiful Glens of Antrim, or swim off the Atlantic coast.”
Morrow also thanked Cameron for promoting the Glens in particular and Northern Ireland in general.
“It was nice to get a mention,” he said. “What makes the Glens is the people who live there. We are a hardy, diverse bunch of people and some people might think we are just strange speaking.”
Local tourism development officer for Moyle District Council, Kerrie McGonigle, said she hoped all the attention on the Cameron story would boost tourist numbers.
“The Glens are fantastic, really worth a visit. We are hoping that will boost our numbers this summer. Anything we can get to help our numbers is fantastic,” said McGonigle.
Cameron had previously outlined his affection for the Antrim coastline and the Glens when he addressed the Ulster Unionist Party in 2008.
Speaking then, he said: “When I’m walking through the Glens of Antrim I’m moved by some of the most beautiful countryside in the UK today.”
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