Tuesday 23 January 2018

Sinn Féin's O'Neill faces tough task to rebuild public's faith in North's institutions

Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill. Photo: REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill. Photo: REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Plans to appoint Michelle O'Neill as the new face of Sinn Féin in the North looked to be a formality last week when the outgoing health minister was tasked with making one of the most significant speeches delivered in Stormont in years.

With a stone-faced DUP leader Arlene Foster sitting directly opposite, Ms O'Neill sounded the final death-knell on a power-sharing arrangement that could last no longer than eight months.

She lauded her "good friend" Martin McGuinness - the IRA man turned peacemaker, whose legacy will continue to divide people on both sides of the Border.

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