Institutions ‘totally secure’ - McGuinness

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has insisted the political institutions at Stormont are stable and not on the verge of collapse.

Mr McGuinness made the remarks during at speech at a gala dinner at Hillsborough Castle on Thursday evening to launch the major international investment conference.

Speaking at the event in front of representatives of more than 150 international investors, Mr McGuinness dismissed recent suggestions that the political institutions are under threat.

Addressing delegates at the dinner, Mr McGuinness said; “Where you are now is a completely different place from what life was like here 20 years ago. That peace process is rock solid, totally secure, as are the institutions.”

In recent weeks politicians and political commentators have been predicting the collapse of the Executive and political institutions at Stormont, claiming a breakdown in the working relationship between the First and Deputy First Minister.

The pair clashed publicly on several occasions during the summer months over parading and loyalist rioting in Belfast. The impasse between the two appeared to grow when Mr Robinson withdrew his support for the peace centre at the former Long Kesh prison site, leading to multi-million pound redevelopment plans for the site being shelved.

However, Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness appeared together on several occasions recently, including when they condemned the recent murders in Derry and Belfast.