Conor Murphy returns as Minister for the Economy after medical leave

Sinn Féin's Conor Murphy has returned to the Northern Ireland Executive after taking a leave of absence on medical advice from his doctor. He returns to the Department for the Economy, taking over from Deirdre Hargey who stepped in temporarily.

Sinn Féin’s Conor Murphy has been re-appointed as Minister for the Economy after stepping down temporarily on advice from his doctor.

Murphy affirmed the pledge of office this morning in the presence of Assembly Speaker Edwin Poots.

Conor Murphy affirms the pledge of office today in the Speaker’s Office to become Economy Minister.

First Minister Michelle O’Neill thanked Deirdre Hargey for taking over temporarily whilst Murphy was absent.

“I am really delighted to welcome back Conor Murphy as he takes up the reins again as Economy Minister today, and I know he is looking forward to getting back to his desk.

“Conor is one of the most experienced ministers in the Executive and it’s great to have him back after a break on the advice of his doctors.

“He is focussed on getting back to creating jobs and promoting the benefits of our all-island economy and our unique dual market access to the European and British economies.

“Conor set out his economic vision for the department when he took up office in February.

“He will continue the work of reforming Invest NI, the expansion of Magee, and the promotion of news skills initiatives and the Tourism Action Plan.

“I also want to say a huge thank you to Deirdre Hargey who stepped up without a moment’s hesitation into the role of Economy Minister when Conor was forced to step aside.

“Deirdre once again proved to be an able minister who did a great job and I’m really grateful for the work she has done for all over the last number of weeks.

“There is much work to do, and I wish Conor all the very best as he gets down to working with others to deliver on the Executive’s economic priorities to build a better future for all.”

– First Minister Michelle O’Neill

Murphy was unable to provide evidence to the COVID-19 inquiry when it was sitting in Belfast due to advice from his doctor.

He has previously served in the Executive as Finance Minister from 2020 until 2022.

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