McGuinness denounces social media 'racist headbangers'

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Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness described people who used social media to abuse the Alliance MLA, Anna Lo, as "bigots" and "racists", on 24 February 2014.

He said there were "all sorts of headbangers" on Twitter and that people should stand together with others who were subjected to racist abuse.

In reply to a question from Ulster Unionist Leslie Cree, Mr McGuinness said he had "not given up hope" that the proposed peace and reconciliation centre at the Maze Longkesh site would be built.

"This was a project that caught the imagination of the international community. This was a project that caught the imagination of President Obama," he said.

Mr McGuinness told the Assembly he was "disappointed" by the recent collapse of KPL Contracts.

More than 200 people were made redundant by the utilities contracts company, based in Dungiven, County Londonderry.

Mr McGuinness was answering a question from Sinn Fein's Daithi McKay about his forthcoming business trip to the United States.

The minister said the Executive had become increasingly successful in attracting foreign direct investment.

Ulster Unionist Sam Gardiner asked the deputy first minister what steps were being taken to address the threat of "worsening and extreme weather patterns".

Mr McGuinness outlined the work of the Civil Contingencies Group in preparing for severe weather.

He joined Mr Gardiner in "absolutely and wholeheartedly" praising the police force for their work in the Sydenham area of Belfast during the recently-threatened floods.

Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland was asked about housing need for unionists and nationalists in north Belfast.

Mr McCausland said the figures for people applying for social housing were roughly equal, 1,994 Protestants and 1,988 Catholics.

The SDLP's Alban Maginness said he believed the minister was "self-delusional" over housing in north Belfast.

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