Eastwood pays tribute to Maginness

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SDLP leader Colum Eastwood MLA has paid tribute to his party colleague Alban Maginness, following news that the veteran MLA will not contest this year’s Assembly election in North Belfast.

Mr Eastwood said: “Alban Maginness has been a pillar of honesty and decency in local politics as an elected representative for over 30 years.

“His work as a young barrister, helping to right egregious wrongs that had been committed against people in his community, was the mark of the man throughout his career.

“Alban’s place in our history has been secured by his unflinching political opposition to violence and attempts to reconcile all communities in North Belfast.

“That never-say-die attitude was recognised when he became the first nationalist mayor of Belfast, an honour and a political breakthrough that could have gone to no better man.”