Successful Derry co-option
Sinn Féin in Derry has successfully co-opted Gerry MacLochlainn onto
the city council to replace Assembly member and party chair Mitchel
Creggan-born MacLochlainn was proposed to replace McLaughlin by Sinn
Féin's Cathal Crumley and the nomination was seconded by fellow party
member Peter Anderson.
The nomination was supported by the SDLP and no opposition was offered
by unionist politicians. The DUP's Gregory Campbell said: ``We decided
that it would be pointless to oppose it because Sinn Féin would have
won a by-election with a majority in that area anyway.''
MacLochlainn (45) was formerly the voice of Sinn Féin in London and
was a tireless campaigner on behalf of the Guildford Four. Speaking
about his appointment, MacLochlainn said: ``It's great in some ways and
daunting in others. I am confident that with the professional team
Sinn Féin have I can deliver in the council for the city-side.
``I have been involved in community work in London, with the Irish and
members of the black and Asian communities. Now, as a public
representative in Derry, I consider it an honour and a privilege to
return what I have gained from this city.''
He acknowledged that the Creggan, Bogside and Brandywell areas are
some of the most economically and socially deprived areas in Europe
and pledged his commitment to getting better services into those