The Northern Ireland Health Minister Edwin Poots, the Democratic Unionist politician and farmer, opened fire from an upstairs bedroom of his house near County Antrim recently, news reports say.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, police are investigating the incident which happened in the early hours of June 6.

Poots, 47, was at home with his wife and four young children when two suspected intruders were spotted close to his home. They reportedly fled when he shouted a warning and fired his gun into the air.

A DUP spokesman told the Telegraph: 'Given the risk to Mister Poots and his family, a legally held shotgun was safely discharged into the air by Mister Poots from within his house to alert the intruders that their presence was known. The police were then called by the family and are investigating the matter.'

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokesman confirmed this week that they had 'received a report of persons acting suspiciously in the grounds of a property in Lisburn' in the early hours of 6 June.

The DUP spokesman continued: 'Unknown persons were observed on Mister Poots' property and only meters from the occupied house of a family member.'