Northern Ireland

NI Executive: Martin McGuinness announces Sinn Féin ministers

Martin McGuinness with Sinn Féin MLAs Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, Michelle O'Neill, Chris Hazzard and Megan Fearon Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption The four MLAs will be designated to their ministries on Wednesday, Martin McGuinness said

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has announced the names of four Sinn Féin colleagues who will become Northern Ireland Executive ministers.

They are Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, Michelle O'Neill, Chris Hazzard and Megan Fearon.

The majority of the posts in the executive will be filled by Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin MLAs.

The SDLP and Ulster Unionists are forming an opposition at Stormont.

Image caption Mr McGuinness said his four Sinn Féin colleagues would be designated to their ministries on Wednesday

Mr McGuinness, who will continue to serve as deputy first minister, said he was "delighted to be here with a strong ministerial team".

"They understand the onerous tasks that lie ahead of us," he added.

"These people, I have the utmost confidence in.

"They are all intelligent, committed, dedicated Irish republicans who understand the challenges that face us in the next five years."

Image caption Mr McGuinness said he was "100% confident" there would be a justice minister appointed by Wednesday

Mr McGuinness said his four Sinn Féin colleagues would be designated to their ministries on Wednesday.

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers has warned that unless a justice minister is appointed by Wednesday fresh assembly elections will have to be held.

Mr McGuinness said he was "100% confident" there would be a justice minister appointed by Wednesday.

"Obviously we stated some days ago that [DUP leader and first minister] Arlene Foster and I were agreed that we would be in a position to put an executive together which would meet on Thursday," he said.

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