Queen's honorary professorship for Mitchel McLaughlin

Mitchel McLaughlin at the time of his appointment as assembly speaker in 2015. Picture by Ann McManus

FORMER assembly speaker Mitchel McLaughlin has been awarded an honorary professorship by Queen's University.

The former Sinn Féin negotiator and MLA will be attached to the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.

Former first minister Peter Robinson was awarded a similar honorary title last week.

Mr McLaughlin was Stormont's first nationalist speaker, serving in the role from 2015 until his retirement from politics the following year.

Derry-born Mr McLaughlin (72) was first elected to the assembly in 1998 as a representative for Foyle before switching to South Antrim in 2007. He has also served as Sinn Féin chairman and general secretary.

Queen's pro-vice chancellor for internationalisation and engagement Professor Richard English said Mr McLaughlin had played a key role in regional politics for more than 50 years.

"His significant breadth of experience will complement the work of the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice and I look forward very much to his contribution over the next three years," he said.

The former speaker's first engagement in his new role will be a public lecture on June 26, entitled: ‘Hope and History’.

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