17/12/2019

SF MLAs Resign From Frontline Politics

Sinn Fein MLAs Megan Fearon and Máirtín Ó Muilleoir are to step down from the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Former finance minister Ó Muilleoir is to quit as MLA for south Belfast, while ex-junior minister Fearon is also leaving elected politics and will no longer represent Newry and Armagh.

Ó Muilleoir was Belfast's Lord Mayor between 2013 and 2014 and held the position of Finance Minister until the Assembly collapsed in 2017. He said his public leadership roles have been the "greatest privilege" of his life.

"It is now time for me to hand over to a representative of a newer generation of republican activists," Mr Ó Muilleoir said.

"I want to thank all of those who have given me their support and assure them that I will remain a determined advocate of a better Belfast and a new and united Ireland."
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Megan Fearon, who was once the youngest sitting Assembly member, said her time as an MLA has been an "honour" and her decision was "bittersweet".

"It's been a pleasure to be part of the Sinn Féin team, both locally and nationally as an MLA and on the Executive," she said.

"I want to wish my colleagues well in the future and thank them for their friendship."

Sinn Fein President Mary Lou McDonald paid tribute to both Ms Fearon and Mr Ó Muilleoir and thanked them from their years of hard work and service.

Ms McDonald said: "Both were excellent MLAs providing first class representation in their constituencies and also on the Executive where both served with distinction as ministers.

"I have known both for many years and they are hardworking and dedicated representatives, committed to improving the quality of life for all.

"I wish both of them well in the future and I'm confident they will continue working to build a new and united Ireland.

"I'm sure whoever is selected to replace them will provide the same high standard of representation for the people they represent."



(JG/CM)

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