A leading Sinn Fein Assemblyman has died suddenly from cancer at the age of just 53.
Michael Ferguson was an MLA for West Belfast and the party's education spokesman.
The father-of-four, an active republican for most of his adult life, had been receiving treatment for testicular cancer for some time.
Paying tribute to him today, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said his death would come as a great shock to the many people who knew and respected him.
"No-one who met Michael could fail to see his passion for life and determination," he said.