McArdle quits Stormont advisor post
Sinn Féin special advisor Mary McArdle is to leave the office of Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, UTV can reveal.
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
The former prisoner was at the centre of much controversy when it was first revealed she had been appointed to the government position, given her conviction over the 1984 murder of Mary Travers.
The 22-year-old daughter of Judge Tom Travers was shot dead by an IRA gang as she left church in south Belfast with her family.
Ms McArdle was jailed for life for murder but released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
When her appointment came to light in May last year, she later claimed the killing had been a "tragic mistake" and said she regretted that it had happened.
However, she came under considerable pressure - including from Ann Travers, the victim's sister - to quit.
"My understanding is Mary McArdle is taking up another post in Sinn Féin's political division and Sinn Féin are saying it's not because of that pressure," UTV's Political Editor Ken Reid revealed.
Reacting on Twitter, Ms Travers said she was "thrilled" to hear that Ms McArdle had stepped aside.