VETERAN socialist Eamonn McCann has stood down from his seat on Derry and Strabane council.
One of the founding members of the Civil Rights campaign, the journalist and trade unionist has been involved in campaigning politics for more than 50 years.
He said he was stepping down from council for health reasons.
Mr McCann announced he was retiring from his seat just shy of his 78th birthday after being diagnosed with the neurological condition ataxia.
The People Before Profit (PBP) councillor said the condition has made "it increasingly difficult for me to fulfil my duty as a councillor".
Ataxia is a degenerative disease of the nervous system.
"I have made my intention known to my party, People Before Profit, and have asked the party to set in motion the procedure for selecting a new councillor in my place," he said.
Mr McCann first stood for election in the Foyle constituency at the 1969 for the Northern Ireland Labour Party, losing to John Hume.
He was elected in March 2016 to the Stormont Assembly for PBP, but lost his seat the following year following year in a snap election.
In 2019, he was elected to serve Derry and Strabane council in the Moor district electoral area.
Party colleague and West Belfast MLA Gerry Carroll said: "Knowing Eamonn, I know he'll not stop campaigning and fighting on a range of issues, as he has done for many years. Solidarity".