Newry SDLP ‘shocked and disappointed’ at McAteer decision

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Friday, April 3rd, 2015
Community, News, Politics
The SDLP in Newry has said it is ‘shocked and disappointed’ that Kevin McAteer has decided to become an independent councillor, the chair of the local branch has said. sdlpHugh McShane, Chair of the party’s Newry branch said, “Kevin is a young politician who has been fully supported and encouraged by the party in Newry. “From the outset, SDLP members in Newry have worked tirelessly to facilitate Kevin’s entry to local politics and those within the party locally who loyally canvassed for Kevin are extremely disappointed that he has decided to go independent. He was elected on an SDLP ticket. “Senior members of the party mentored Kevin and encouraged him every step of the way and they are disappointed that he has made this decision. He continued, “The SDLP in Newry is like an extended family and the emphasis has always been on the personal welfare of all our members, in particular candidates who are seeking election for the first time. “For us, being a party member is not just about political debate and activism it is about looking after our people. At no point did Kevin share any concerns he had about the party locally with me,” Hugh insisted.
“Unfortunately, as a result of his decision, those who took the trouble to come out in May and cast their votes for an SDLP candidate to represent them in Newry City are now deprived of an authentic SDLP voice in the new council. “However, we as a party will continue to fight for the needs of the people of Newry. ” Looking to the forthcoming Westminster Election, McShane said, “The SDLP in Newry is in a very healthy position. Our branch numbers continue to increase with new young members joining the party.
“We are completely energised and focused on getting Justin McNulty elected as MP for Newry and Armagh to give our people a voice that it hasn’t had for a decade. The SDLP will continue through our strong representation on the new council to work hard for the people of Newry, Mourne and Down.” More on this story: Newry SDLP in turmoil after Councillor McAteer resigns
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