North Ireland First Minister Released from Hospital

Democratic Unionist Party leader Peter Robinson speaks at the party's policy conference in the village of Templepatrick twenty miles north of Belfast
Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

Northern Ireland‘s First Minister Peter Robinson was released from hospital on Friday, four days after reportedly suffering a heart attack on the eve of a crucial debate in the regional assembly.

Robinson, 66, underwent an emergency operation on Monday, the hospital treating him said. A spokesman for his Democratic Unionist Party declined to comment on local media reports that Robinson had suffered a suspected heart attack.

“Happy to be discharged and back home. Thanks to the wonderful RVH (Royal Victoria Hospital) cardiac team – everyone a star,” Robinson said on his Twitter account.

Robinson was absent when the power-sharing government failed to pass a social welfare bill on Tuesday that several senior figures have said could lead to the collapse of the assembly in the British-controlled province.

A deal struck between the Northern Ireland parties and the British Government late last year was supposed to have eased the way for welfare reforms by promising the local administration a package including loans which would have helped mitigate the cuts enacted in other parts of the United Kingdom.

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