Mitchel McLaughlin to be appointed as honorary professor at Queen's

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Former Northern Ireland Assembly Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin is to be appointed an honorary professor in Peace Studies at Queen's University in Belfast.

The professorship is attached to the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice.

Mr McLaughlin, a former Sinn Féin MLA, was the first nationalist politician to be appointed speaker.

He served from 2015 until 2016 when he retired from politics.

Born in Londonderry, Mr McLaughlin has been a Sinn Féin member for over fifty years and was first elected to the assembly as an MLA for Foyle in 1998.

In 2007, he transferred to South Antrim and won Sinn Féin's first ever seat in the constituency.

'Key role'

He also served as Sinn Féin's party chairman and general secretary, and was a member of its negotiating teams for both the Good Friday Agreement and St Andrews Agreement.

Prof Richard English, a pro-vice chancellor at Queens, said Mr McLaughlin had played a "key role in local politics for over 50 years".

Mr McLaughlin's professorship is part-time and unpaid. It will last for three years.

He will give his first lecture, titled Hope and History, on 26 June. The event is free and open to the public although registration will be required.

Other honorary professors attached to the Mitchell Institute include former first minister and DUP leader Peter Robinson and former government negotiator Jonathan Powell.

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