“Today we learned that Irish Minister for Education RuairíQuinn TD has announced that he is to withdraw from the Irish Cabinet and will not contest the next General Election.
“Ruairí Quinn, like so many of his Labour Party colleagues has been a powerful friend to the SDLP and a strong supporter of the peace process and a true ally of Irish democracy. During his career Ruairí Quinn has made a big impact in Irish politics and has shown wisdom and sound judgement and an appetite for reform. His commitment to public life and to the Labour Party has been longstanding and resolute and I know that he will be missed.
“I know that Ruairí will make a positive contribution from the backbenches until the next General Election and I would like to wish Ruairí and his family well.”