Monday 24 April 2017

‘This is nothing to do with my health’

Martin McGuinness leaving Stormont Castle yesterday evening Picture: Justin Kernoghan/Photopress
Martin McGuinness leaving Stormont Castle yesterday evening Picture: Justin Kernoghan/Photopress

Cormac McQuinn and Colm Kelpie

Martin McGuinness has insisted his resignation as Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister is not related to his health.

Mr McGuinness stepped down as Deputy First Minister of the Northern Ireland Executive in protest at the Democratic Unionist Party's handling of a botched renewable energy scheme.

Mr McGuinness' ill appearance caused serious alarm yesterday. He has taken a step back from his duties over recent weeks to receive medical treatment.

However, he said his health has had "absolutely nothing" to do with his decision to resign - a move which will almost certainly bring down the Northern Ireland Executive and cause an Assembly election.

Sinn Féin's decision was prompted by a grassroots backlash from its own supporters over what they saw as the party's constant capitulation to the DUP.

But the development has cast a doubt over the future of the Northern Ireland institutions as the Brexit negotiations get under way.

The Government will tell European Union leaders that the peace process must be protected at all costs in the Brexit negotiations.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will use the impasse to reiterate to EU leaders that Northern Ireland is a unique case due to the Good Friday Agreement.

Irish Independent

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