Northern Ireland

Conor Murphy: Sinn Féin economy minister suffered ‘mini-stroke’

The Newry and Armagh MLA has returned to work after stepping down temporarily on ‘medical grounds’

Stormont Economy Minister Conor Murphy
Stormont Economy Minister Conor Murphy suffered a mini-stroke earlier this month (Liam McBurney/PA)

Economy Minister Conor Murphy has revealed he suffered a mini-stroke, which left him briefly losing power on one side of his body.

Returning to work after a three-week absence, the Sinn Féin MLA said he is “fortunate” to have had “no lasting effects”.

It was announced earlier this month that Mr Murphy (60) was to step down temporarily from the Executive on medical grounds. He was replaced by Deirdre Hargey on an interim basis.

He was unable to give evidence in person to the UK Covid-19 Inquiry as he had been advised by doctors to rest.

His medical condition was not revealed at the time.

But Mr Murphy returned to work on Tuesday and confirmed he had suffered a transient ischaemic attack, also known as a mini stroke.

“I had an incident while travelling with a temporary interruption in my brain which led to a loss of power down one side of my body,” he told UTV.

Mr Murphy said he sought medical advice, which led to his absence from work.

“You need to heed the warning, and get advice and the tests to see what the nature is,” he said.

“But I am fortunate it’s had no lasting effects and I can return to work,” he added.

He also said he is now looking at “lifestyle adjustments”.