Former Martin McGuinness Spad leaves Sinn Fein job to become firefighter
A former special adviser to Martin McGuinness has left his job with Sinn Fein to begin training to become a firefighter.
Mark Mullan worked in Sinn Fein's press office, having previously served as Spad to both the late Mr McGuinness and former Education Minister John O'Dowd.
The ex-journalist told The Irish News that "after Stormont, running into burning buildings will be a less stressful way to earn a living".
Mr Mullan previously worked for the Derry News in his hometown and contributed to Sinn Fein publication An Phoblacht.
He had a close relationship with former deputy First Minister McGuinness and was among the pallbearers at his funeral in 2017.
Writing on Facebook Mr Mullan confirmed that he was leaving the Sinn Fein press office to start training as a firefighter.
"It's been a genuine honour to work with so many brilliant, dedicated people over more years than I care to remember here. Leaders and legends," he wrote.
"Thinking of Martin and Dale (Moore, former Sinn Fein press officer who passed away in 2016) in in particular but a sincere thanks to everyone I've worked with.
"But now for something completely different and I've no doubt that after Stormont, running into burning buildings will be a less stressful way to earn a living."
The departure of Mr Mullan from politics comes as SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan announced he was returning to university.
The West Tyrone MLA is studying part-time for a Masters in Business Administration at Queen's University Belfast.
Mr McCrossan said he had no intention of quitting politics and that he felt the qualification would allow him to "up-skill" and better represent constituents.
"I have always tried to keep my foot in education in some way. I just made the decision to apply as I do believe ultimately this will give me the skills to benefit my constituents," he said.
Belfast Telegraph Digital