David Ford was not only an outstanding leader of the Alliance Party – he was also an outstanding justice minister.
He was the first Northern Ireland Minister of Justice in over four decades and the devolution of this power to the Northern Ireland Assembly was a historic one in the history of the peace process and the evolution of the power-sharing executive.
Handled wrongly, it could have seriously undermined the stability of the Executive.
David was a safe pair of hands and discharged his responsibilities with consummate skill, greatly strengthening the credibility and standing of the power-sharing Executive itself and underpinning the peace process at a critical and sensitive time.
I wish him well as he steps back from the frontline of politics.
The people of Northern Ireland are indebted to him for his long career of public service.p.
John Cushnahan, Former Alliance Party leader