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Martin McGuinness's health a private family matter, says Sinn Fein chief Adams

By Claire O'Boyle

The family of Martin McGuinness yesterday appealed for privacy amid reports about the failing health of the former Deputy First Minister.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams refused to be drawn on reports that Mr McGuinness had spent the past two weeks in hospital, and asked that the family's request for privacy be respected.

The Irish News yesterday reported the former Sinn Fein leader in Northern Ireland, who was replaced by Michelle O'Neill, had been admitted to hospital some time ago.

Mr Adams would not comment on his colleague's health as Sinn Fein unveiled its new Assembly team at Stormont yesterday, but he did send his best wishes to Mr McGuinness, his wife Bernie and their family. Former IRA chief Mr McGuinness did not play a part in the election campaign he triggered with his resignation in January and did not appear at the Derry count on Friday where his party triumphed.

he was not seen at the polls with his wife on Thursday, but his son Fiachra tweeted that his father had "voted Sinn Fein 1 and 2".

It is not known whether he voted in person, by postal vote or by proxy.

Paying tribute to her predecessor after topping the poll in Mid Ulster where Mr McGuinness was once MP, Mrs O'Neill said shortly after her election: "The 26,207 people who voted for Sinn Fein in Mid Ulster are sending 26,207 good wishes to Martin McGuinness, who has done so much for this constituency."

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