The SDLP have confirmed that Mark O’Donnell has been co-opted onto Derry City Council, taking the seat left by the controversial departure of former Councillor, Jimmy Carr,
In a statement Councillor O’Donnell said he was “honoured and delighted” at the opportunity to work for the people of Shantallow.
Speaking after a Party selection convention last night to fill the vacant SDLP council seat, the 27-year-old said a big issue in the Shantallow area is the number of young people in the area that are leaving because of lack of job opportunities.
“That’s a huge issue in Shantallow and I really want to focus on that,” said Cllr O’Donnell. “I also want to focus on youth provisions in the area,” he said.
The politics graduate and gym manager thanked the Shantallow SDLP branch for their support and guidance over the past two years, and his family and friends for their support and encouragement.
“I became interested in the SDLP during the Peace Process,” said Cllr O’Donnell, explaining what it was that attracted him to the SDLP. “I saw the opportunities the Party made available to young people and I was able to do some work experience with Foyle MLA Colum Eastwood. Colum, along with Mark H Durkan MLA inspired me to get more involved.”
Colr. O’Donnell added: “I’m going to work as hard as I can for the people of Shantallow, and to strengthen the profile of the SDLP in the area.”