Michelle O'Neill pays tribute to Fra McCann
Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O'Neill has paid tribute to Fra McCann following the announcement that he will step down from the Assembly.
Michelle O'Neill said:
"I want to thank my friend and colleague Fra McCann for his years of tireless and dedicated service to the people of West Belfast following the news that he will be standing down from the Assembly as a result of ill health.
"Fra has been a champion of the community for decades, working for people every day at every level, making their voice heard and improving lives.
"A former internee and political prisoner, Fra has been a lifelong republican and on Belfast City Council and on the Assembly has served the community with distinction for many years.
"I know that Fra will continue to work on behalf of the community and will be on hand with help and advice and the benefit of his vast experience.
"I wish Fra, Janette and the entire family well for the future."
Fra McCann said:
“After lengthy conversations with family and friends, I have decided not to contest the next Assembly election. This was not an easy decision, but one that I have taken in the best interest of my family, my own health and the struggle.
“It has been a privilege to represent the people of the Falls and West Belfast since 1987.
“I brought the voice of working class people into the heart of political institutions, both in Belfast City Council and the Assembly, and fought tirelessly to ensure that their voice was heard.
“Ensuring that local communities had more modern homes, access to first-class facilities and better jobs was always my priority.
“Having been a Republican activist for over five decades, I have seen our struggle through its darkest and most challenging days.
“But today, I am left in no doubt that we are stronger than ever and within touching distance of achieving a progressive, modern and united Ireland.
“I will continue to do everything that I can to build this new Ireland and to meet the needs of our community.”