NI barrister becomes junior minister one month after co-option
A qualified barrister and former law lecturer who was co-opted as an MLA a mere month ago has been elevated to the rank of junior minister.
Emma Pengelly MLA, who stopped practising as a barrister to become a government special advisor in 2007, joined the Northern Ireland Assembly after being co-opted as a DUP MLA for Belfast South on 28 September 2015.
She has now been appointed as a junior minister in the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (OFMdFM).
Ms Pengelly was a part-time lecturer and tutor in law at the University of Ulster between 2004-06, and a barrister-at-law between 2003-07.
She studied at Queen’s University Belfast and won the university’s Pat Finucane Prize for Criminal Procedure - Indictment while studying to become a barrister.
Ms Pengelly told the Belfast Telegraph after her promotion: “I am looking forward to the challenge and also the opportunities that it provides.
“I come from having been a special advisor in the department, so I will obviously be aware of all of the key issues it has been involved with in the last eight years.”