SDLP insists Assembly reshuffle is not linked to Derry funeral controversy

The SDLP's Colum Eastwood has been replaced on the Stormont justice committee by the Mid-Ulster assembly member, Patsy McGlone.

The Foyle MLA was at the centre of controversy last week over his attendance at the paramilitary-style funeral of Seamus Coyle, who Mr Eastwood has described as a close friend. His party colleague, Mark H Durkan, was also at the funeral.

The party insists the reshuffle, first announced last Wednesday, was planned before the controversy broke over Seamus Coyle's funeral.

A colour party fired shots over Mr Coyle's coffin on Tuesday, with Mr Eastwood saying while he did help to carry Mr Coyle's coffin, he was not present when the shots were fired.

Mr Eastwood has replaced Mr McGlone as a member of the Committee on Standards and Privileges, While Mark H.Durkan is being replaced on the Health and Social Services Committee.

Other changes see East Derry MLA John Dallat replace West Tyrone MLA Joe Byrne as a member of the Regional Development Committee.