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Serious concerns as former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness hospitalised

Martin McGuinness press conference on January 9. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press.
Seamus McKinney

THERE are serious concerns for the health of former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness as it emerges that he has spent the last two weeks in hospital.

Mr McGuinness retired from politics in January on health grounds, shortly after resigning as deputy first minister.

Sinn Féin has declined to comment on the nature of his illness.

The Irish News understands that he was admitted to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry two weeks ago because of the severe side-effects of his ongoing treatment.

Mr McGuinness (66) appeared particularly frail at the January press conference at which he announced his decision to resign, triggering last week’s election.

The former IRA leader played no visible part in the election campaign and did not attend the count at the Foyle Arena in Derry on Friday where his party celebrated a significant success, outpolling the SDLP in its heartland.

Martin McGuinness announced last month he is quitting electoral politics due to ill-health. Picture by Niall Carson, Press Association

Last week Sinn Féin members retweeted a post from Mr McGuinness’s son Fiachra which read: “@M_McGuinness_SF has just voted Sinn Fein 1 and 2.”

However, it is not known whether Mr McGuinness voted in person, by postal vote or by proxy. His wife Bernie voted alone in Derry on Thursday.

Altnagelvin Area Hospital in Derry

As details of Sinn Fein’s electoral success emerged on Friday evening, Mr McGuinness’s son again tweeted an apparent reference to his father.

It read: “I know a man that’s absolutely buzzing!!!!”

A Sinn Féin spokesman reiterated the party’s original view that Mr McGuinness’s health was a private matter.

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