Dissident to stand for council
Leading Derry republican Gary Donnelly will contest the forthcoming local government election, the ‘Journal’ can reveal.
Mr Donnelly is expected to stand as an independent candidate in the Creggan ward in the poll, scheduled for May 5. His candidacy will be officially announced next week.
The 39 year-old unsuccessfully contested the 2005 local government election in the same yard and received 493 first preference votes.
Mr Donnelly is widely regarded as one of the most prominent dissident republican figures in Ireland and is a high profile spokesperson for the 32 County Sovereignty Movement (32CSM), although he insists he will be running as an independent candidate and not as a member of the 32CSM. The former prisoner told the Journal that he is confident an independent candidate can be elected in Creggan.
“I have been speaking to people in the community and they have made it clear they want an independent candidate.
“Looking at the ward, I would say there is an independent seat to be had there. In the last election I got 493 first preference votes, eight per cent of the total, so there is an appetite for change there,” he said.
The leading dissident said he is determined to build on his 2005 performance. “I entered the race late, then found that many people who would have supported me were not registered, mainly because they were tired of the constitutional nationalist parties and felt they had no voice.
“We won’t be making the same mistake again and I would encourage people to get registered,” he said.
Mr Donnelly also said he does not believe his membership of the 32CSM - regarded by security experts as the political wing of the Real IRA - will create problems for his campaign.
“I’ll be an independent candidate running on an republican agenda. The Sovereignty Movement does not endorse constitutional politics but it is up to individual members whether they choose to stand in elections. Individual members can also support candidates if they chose, there are no rules barring support for candidates,” he said.
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Weather for Derry
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 10 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West