13 May 2004 Edition

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Hyland bows out of council

Sinn Féin's Newry and Armagh MLA Davy Hyland is to step down from Newry and Mourne council seat at the end of this month "to concentrate on his position in the Assembly and to give his constituency a higher profile".

The popular local teacher hopes to be replaced on the council by local party activist Marian Mathers. Hyland said he had enjoyed his time as a councillor but it is time for him to him to let someone else in the party gain experience of local government.

"We intend to put forward Marian Mathers, who runs our advice centre in Newry to be co-opted on to the council and I am glad we have chose a woman to represent Sinn Féin as the council has only two women out of 30 councillors.

"I hope all the other parties will agree to co-opt Marion onto the council and avoid the cost to the ratepayers, of a by-election.

"Marian has been involved in community politics for decades and I think she will bring a lot to Newry and Mourne council chamber."

* Sinn Féin has also announced that former Hunger Striker Raymond McCartney has been selected to take the Foyle Assembly seat vacated by party colleague Mary Nelis, who has stepped down for family reasons. McCartney lost out to Nelis in the election last year by just eight votes.

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