Former MLA Fearghal McKinney appointed head of heart charity
Fearghal McKinney has been appointed as the new head of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) in Northern Ireland.
The former UTV reporter and SDLP MLA for South Belfast will lead the NI team, based in Belfast, and represent the charity locally.
"I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to join the team at BHF NI", said McKinney.
"Heart and circulatory diseases still kill one in four in Northern Ireland. That's why our work is as urgent and vital as ever."
BHF NI is the largest independent funder of heart and circulatory disease research in Northern Ireland.
It has invested £3m at Queen's University, which includes projects to investigate links between heart attacks and diabetes.
James Cant, director of BHF, welcomed Mr McKinney on board, insisting he will be a valuable addition to the charity.
Mr McKinney left UTV in 2009 and unsuccessfully contested the Fermanagh and South Tyrone seat in the 2010 general election. In 2015, he was elected deputy leader of the SDLP.