I was shocked and saddned to learn that Sinn Féin MLA for West Belfast Michael Ferguson has died. Michael had an article in today's Irish News about his battle with testicular cancer.
This will come as a shock to the great many Republicans who knew Michael. He is a life long Republican and an extremely hard working MLA and Councillor who worked for the good of the community.
When I was Chair of the Cumann in QUB I had quite a few dealings with Michael in his role as our spokesperson for Higher Education and Learning. He was always available and willing to help.
In my second year when the QUBSU executive were in a battle with University Authorities over our publication of a Bi-Lingual handbook Michael was the one who stood up to the University top brass and supported us all the way.
These are just two of my abiding memories of Michael, I am sure that many people have many other memories.
What is known at this sad time is that the Republican movement have lost a key worker and comrade, the people of West Belfast have lost an excellent politician and his family have lost a devoted partner and father.
I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Louise, his children Hugh Thomas, Daibhead, Niamh, Aoife and the entire family circle.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam