Northern Ireland news

Deirdre Hargey to return to ministerial duties

Michelle O'Neill with Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey. Picture by Sinn Féin

SINN Féin's Deirdre Hargey is to return to her ministerial duties following an absence of six months.

The South Belfast MLA temporarily stood down as Stormont's communities minister in June, saying that she was to undergo surgery and needed time to recover.

Party colleague Carál Ní Chuilín carried out Ms Hargey's ministerial duties for the duration of her absence.

Sinn Féin deputy leader Michelle O'Neill last night tweeted that she had welcomed Ms Hargey back to the assembly.

"Deirdre will retake her post as Minister for Communities from Wednesday," she said.

"We both are very grateful to Carál Ní Chuilín for her leadership of the department in Deirdre's absence. Ádh mór Deirdre"

A former Belfast mayor, Ms Hargey was co-opted as an MLA a year ago, replacing Máirtín Ó Muilleoir.

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