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Assembly to mark the passing of Former deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 21 March 2017

Reference: SO/01/17/18

Speaking today on the death of former deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Robin Newton MBE MLA said: “While I am the Speaker of an Assembly in which Martin McGuinness played an integral part as a Member, Minister and deputy First Minister, I am mindful that today a family has lost a husband, a father, a brother and a grandfather.  On behalf of the Northern Ireland Assembly, I express my sincere condolences and sympathy to his family whom I know he held dear.

“At this point after an election, the next business the Assembly is formally required to conduct before any other is the election of a Speaker and that remains scheduled for the next plenary sitting on 27 March 2017.  However, it would be entirely wrong if the Assembly in which Martin McGuinness has been a central figure since its creation in 1998, did not have the opportunity to mark his passing. 

“Therefore, I will be inviting MLAs to gather in the Assembly Chamber at noon tomorrow when I will lead an opportunity for Members to pay their tributes and offer condolences.  I am grateful to the party whips for having agreed to this proposal by consensus.  Regardless of the different ways in which individual Assembly Members regarded his politics, there is no doubt that today we have lost one of the most significant figures from our politics in the last decades and it is only fitting that Members of the Assembly should come together to recognise his contribution.”

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

As a mark of respect, the Speaker will lead MLAs in their tributes to former deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness in the Assembly Chamber at noon on Wednesday 22 March 2017. After approximately 90 minutes, the Speaker will proceed with party leaders to the Great Hall to open a book of condolence.  After Members have had an opportunity to sign the book of condolence, it will then be open to members of the public.

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