NEW ROLE: Aisling Reilly with First Minister Michelle O'Neill

Aisling Reilly takes up Junior Minister role at Stormont

WEST Belfast MLA Aisling Reilly has been appointed a Junior Minister in the new power-sharing Executive – and has committed to deliver an Irish Language Commissioner.
The former world handball champion gave the commitment as she took up her role alongside DUP MLA Pam Cameron.
The St Paul’s GAC woman was co-opted as an MLA in October 2021, replacing Fra McCann. Six months later she progressed a bill through Stormont scrapping hospital car parking charges.
In May 2022 she was elected to the Assembly as a West Belfast MLA in an election which saw Sinn Féin return as the largest party at Stormont. The party managed to increase their lead in the constituency with a swing of 1.88 per cent, returning four MLAs with 63.68 percent, up from their first preference vote of 61.8 per cent in 2017. That election took place just months after the DUP walk-out of Stormont as part of its protest over the post-Brexit Irish Sea trade border.

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On Saturday the DUP ended its two-year Stormont boycott with Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill becoming First Minister – the first Nationalist to hold the position.

Posting on Twitter after her appointment, Ms Reilly said: "I look forward to supporting First Minister @moneillsf in the Executive Office in carrying out all responsibilities, including the delivery of An Coimisinéir Teanga.

"Tá mé ag dúil go mór le dul i ngléic leis na dúshláin os ár gcomhair. Le chéile éireoidh linn."