New Alliance councillor is Castlewellan resident

New Alliance councillor is Castlewellan resident

16 November 2016

THE Alliance Party has chosen Castlewellan man Andy McMurray to represent the Slieve Croob area on Newry, Mourne and Down Council.

Mr McMurray will replace disgraced former councillor Patrick Clarke who was recently banned from politics for three years after being declared “unfit for public office” following a series of criminal convictions.

Mr Clarke was elected to the council on an Alliance ticket, but subsequently left the party to become an Independent in February last year. His ban from politics meant the Alliance Party reclaimed the seat and has confirmed Mr McMurray as its new Slieve Croob representative.

Married with two children, Mr McMurray is an outdoor instructor and youth worker at the Ardnabannon Outdoor Education Centre and is delighted to have been selected by his party to represent the Slieve Croob area.

“Throughout the entirety of my life, Northern Irish politics has been dominated by the competing narratives of Unionism/Nationalism, Loyalism/Republicanism. I have never felt comfortable subscribing to any of these,” he said.

“Alliance is the only party that cannot be bounded by these narratives. I am a firm believer of middle ground politics. Be this in the Northern Irish context or the wider left/right spectrum. Other local parties masquerade as being of the ‘middle ground,’ but only Alliance has the track record and vision to deliver a truly shared society.”

Mr McMurray said that through his role as a youth worker at Ardnabannon, he meets young people from every community across Northern Ireland. 

“I see the need to have a society where our young people can grow up without fear from intimidation resulting from sectarianism, racism or other hate crimes. Alliance offers a genuine alternative to negative politics where everyone is welcome,” he continued.

Mr McMurray added: “I am proud to have the opportunity to serve all the people of Slieve Croob and look forward to working with councillor Patrick Brown as part of a strong and growing Alliance team.”