Tuesday 23 July 2019

McGuinness missed trip to China due to medical tests

Martin McGuinness. Photo: PA Wire
Martin McGuinness. Photo: PA Wire

Adrian Rutherford

Martin McGuinness had to withdraw from a planned trip to China this week on doctors' advice as he undergoes medical tests, it emerged last night.

According to a Sinn Féin statement, Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister did not travel abroad so that a medical assessment could be carried out on him.

It read: "The Deputy First Minister withdrew from a planned visit to China this week on medical advice and to enable doctors to conduct a medical assessment.

"Martin McGuinness is fulfilling his responsibilities as Deputy First Minister working with his departmental political advisers.

"There has been no disruption to the work of the Executive Office during this period."

There was surprise last Friday when it was announced that Mr McGuinness would not be heading to China.

Instead, First Minister Arlene Foster travelled alone on the four-day visit, undertaking meetings in Shanghai and Beijing.

Both the Executive Office and Sinn Féin had refused to elaborate further on the reasons for his absence.

The Executive Office had also refused to say whether Mr McGuinness was working at Stormont this week.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams sent his best wishes to the minister.

"I'm sure everybody who values his work will send best wishes to Martin, Bernie and their family," he said.

"I met with Martin as normal at Stormont on Monday," said Mr Adams.

"I have been in regular contact with him since and he is totally committed to fulfilling his duties."

Irish Independent

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