Two candidates in race for MLA berth

BOWING OUT OF POLITICS. . . .SDLP stalwart Pat Ramsey, MLA pictured this week at one of his favourite spots at Termonbacca, overlooking the River Foyle. DER4815MC028
BOWING OUT OF POLITICS. . . .SDLP stalwart Pat Ramsey, MLA pictured this week at one of his favourite spots at Termonbacca, overlooking the River Foyle. DER4815MC028

There are just two candidates vying to replace outoing Foyle SDLP MLA, the ‘Journal’ understands.

Those nominated are currently both Councillors for the Waterside on Derry City and Strabane District and both are former Mayor’s of Derry. The first is Martin Reilly and the other, Gerard Diver is the current leader of the SDLP bloc on the local authority.

It is understood the selection convention will take place on December 21 at venue still to be confirmed and the winner will be co-opted to Stormont before having to face re-election at next year’s Assembly elections.

The seat became available following an announcement last week by veteran SDLP representative Pat Ramsey that he will quit the Assembly on health grounds as of December 31 coming. Mr Ramsey had been a SDLP representative for 30 years. A native of the city’s Bogside, he began his career as a youth worker in the late 70s.