Deirdre Hargey to temporarily stand aside as Minister of Communities
Sinn Féin MLA Deirdre Hargey has announced she will temporarily step aside from the role of Minister for Communities for health reasons.
Deirdre Hargey said:
"I have informed Joint Head of Government Michelle O'Neill and my party president Mary Lou McDonald that I will be stepping aside from my role as Minister for Communities temporarily for health reasons.
"Due to illness I have been admitted to hospital, and am to undergo surgery in the coming days, which will require time to properly recover.
“In light of these exceptional personal circumstances I am unable in the short term to discharge my ministerial duties, or participate fully in the Executive Committee.
"I have also written to Joint Heads of Government Michelle O'Neill and Arlene Foster to inform them of my decision to stand aside from my ministerial post.
"I look forward to being able to resume ministerial responsibilities in a number of weeks following my treatment and recovery."
Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O'Neill wished Deirdre Hargey a fully and speedy recovery.
"I want to wish my colleague Deirdre Hargey a full and speedy recovery and thank her for the excellent work she has done in her ministerial role to date.
"I look forward to her returning to that post on her recovery and hope she will be back behind her desk as soon as possible.
“I am appointing Carál Ní Chuilín as Minister for Communities on a temporary basis until Deirdre Hargey's return.
"I wish Carál well and know that she will bring a wealth of experience, determination and dedication to the post."