Allliance put forward seven candidates for local elections

Allliance put forward seven candidates for local elections

13 March 2019

ALLIANCE is contesting all seven Newry, Mourne and Down Council district electoral areas at the forthcoming local government election.

The line-up of candidates — whose average age is 28 — was confirmed this week with sitting councillors Patrick Brown and Andrew McMurray out to defend their seats.

Cllr Brown is seeking re-election in Rowallane while Cllr McMurray, who was co-opted to represent Slieve Croob, is moving to the Mournes area.

As the parties across the district ramp up their respective electoral machines for what promises to be a pretty intense election, Alliance insists it is keen to build upon what it describes as its “significant growth” over recent years by running a candidate in each of the district electoral areas.

Cllr McMurray is seeking to secure Alliance’s first ever seat in the Mournes area, with Alliance selecting university graduate Gregory Bain from the Clough area as his replacement in Slieve Croob.

With Philosophy, Politics and Economics degrees under his belt from Manchester and Queen’s universities, Mr is a passionate advocate for mental health issues, particularly amongst young people. If elected, he says he plans to be a vocal advocate for tackling the stigma and lack of funding around mental health.

Eighteen year-old Tiernan Laird has been chosen to run in Downpatrick with the party hopeful that the teenager can make an notable impression.

Despite his age, he is described as a “seasoned campaigner and political veteran”, having chaired the local youth forum. He is also a vocal advocate for youth issues and has taken part in conferences in the past year in both Strasbourg and London.

Mr Laird is vice-chairman of Down High School’s Debating Society and vice-chairman of the South Down Alliance Association. Party officials say he is passionate about young people’s participation in politics.

Mr Laird is not only the youngest declared candidate in the district but, if successful, would be the youngest councillor ever elected in Northern Ireland.

Queen’s Law and Politics student Lorcan McGreevy (20) is the party’s standard bearer in the Crotlieve constituency.

He says he is passionate about environmental issues and is strongly opposed to Warrenpoint harbour dredging proposals and the controversial new housing development at the Shore Road in Rostrevor. 

Mr McGreevy recently spent a summer campaigning for newly elected US Congresswoman Katie Porter in Orange County, California, and hopes to bring some of the campaign skills he developed to the District. 

Community activist Helena Young has been selected to contest one of the six seats up for grabs in the Newry area.

She grew up in the city’s Meadow area and lived at Carnagat and the Armagh Road for a number of years. 

The mother of four sons believes the time is right for Newry to elect its first Alliance representative since the 1980s. With a background in market research and community outreach skills, she plans to use these to reach out to as many voters as possible.

The Alliance line-up is completed by Eoin Young who is standing in Slieve Gullion.

The Northern Ireland Water technician, who is from Newry, believes that electing Alliance Party representatives is the best chance there is to “break free from green and orange politics and grow opportunities for young people settling and raising families in the area”.