The Assembly election has resulted in a series of high-profile casualties.
Here are some of the familiar faces that will be absent from the Stormont benches going forward.
– Nichola Mallon
The SDLP deputy leader arguably is the biggest faller of the 2022 Assembly election.
With party leader Colum Eastwood based at Westminster, Ms Mallon had been the SDLP’s most high-profile figure at Stormont and had served as infrastructure minister since 2020.
Her demise is symbolic of what has been a terrible election for a party that played such a key role in forging the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
A polished media performer who had a reputation as a hard-working minister, Ms Mallon was seen a potential future leader of the SDLP. Her loss will prompt head scratching and deep concern among party chiefs.
The former lord mayor of Belfast ultimately fell victim to the Alliance surge, after Nuala McAllister, another former Belfast mayor, captured her North Belfast seat.
Mervyn Storey (Liam McBurney/PA)
– Mervyn Storey
Another MLA swept up in the Alliance wave was DUP veteran Mervyn Storey. Mr Storey’s loss in North Antrim is a devastating blow for the DUP in the heartland of party founder, the late Ian Paisley.
The party now only holds one of the five seats in the former DUP stronghold, and that candidate, Paul Frew, only got in on the last count.
Mr Storey was a popular character in the Assembly and despite political differences was well liked by many rivals in the chamber.
The Policing Board member also held ministerial office, having served as both social development minister and finance minister during his Stormont career.
– Peter Weir
Former education minister Peter Weir lost his seat in Strangford, becoming yet another victim of the invigorated Alliance Party.
Mr Weir, a former Ulster Unionist and close ally of former party leader Arlene Foster, had been an MLA since 1998 when the Assembly was first created following the Good Friday Agreement.
The DUP previously held three seats in the constituency and was always likely to struggle to hold them all, with Mr Weir the one to lose out.
Clare Bailey (Michael Cooper/PA)
– Clare Bailey
The Green Party NI leader had a high profile in the Assembly and played a central role in the passage of Northern Ireland’s first climate legislation.
The South Belfast MLA proposed a climate bill in the form of private member’s legislation and for a period it progressed through the Assembly alongside rival legislative proposals tabled by Environment Minister Edwin Poots.
While Mr Poots’ bill was ultimately the one to make it onto the statute, it was significantly amended during its Assembly journey and ended up including many of the elements contained in Ms Bailey’s initial bill.
Ms Bailey claimed credit for helping to make the bill more ambitious in its scope and, in the final weeks of the mandate, she also managed to pass a private member’s bill that established “safe access zones” intended to stop women being confronted by protesters outside abortion facilities in Northern Ireland.
In the end, none of these achievements proved enough to prevent Alliance taking her seat as the party doubled its seats in South Belfast.
– Pat Catney
The former publican was a larger-than-life personality at Stormont.
The keen singer broke into song as he danced outside the Assembly chamber when he succeeded in passing a private member’s bill to make period products freely available in public buildings in Northern Ireland.
His party had hoped the profile he had secured progressing that legislation might have been enough to see him return in Lagan Valley.
But the experienced businessman, who had also campaigned for reform of Northern Ireland’s licensing laws, was denied another term at Stormont after an Alliance double left the constituency without a nationalist representative.
Roy Beggs speaking in the Northern Ireland Assembly chamber (Liam McBurney/PA)
– Roy Beggs
For the first time since East Antrim was created as a constituency in 1983, there will nobody from the Beggs family representing the area at either Stormont or Westminster.
Ulster Unionist Roy Beggs Jr, a former Stormont deputy speaker and party stalwart, was eliminated early in the voting process for the constituency, which covers the coastal towns of Carrickfergus and Larne.
Mr Beggs had been his party’s longest serving MLA, having held the seat since 1998.
The Beggs association with the area is longstanding, with Roy Beggs Sr having been the first MP when electoral boundaries were redrawn to form the constituency area in the early 1980s.
His fortunes mirrored those of his party, which has suffered a disappointing election, gaining just over 11% of first preference votes.
– Dolores Kelly
One of the great survivors of Northern Ireland politics failed in her bid to hold a seat in Upper Bann.
Ms Kelly also lost her seat back 2016, having held it since 2003. However, she returned less than a year later, defying the pundits to regain her seat in the 2017 snap poll.
There was no repeat of that triumph five years on, with Ms Kelly bowing out relatively early in the count, at the third stage.
The SDLP’s chief whip in the Assembly and also its spokesman on policing matters, her departure represents another big loss for a party that has enduring a bruising election.
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