Familiar faces return to fight for east Derry seats

Justice Minister Claire Sugden is among the familiar faces in East Derry who will be fighting for a seat in the Assembly election, writes Sheena Jackson.

Friday, 20th January 2017, 9:14 am
Updated Friday, 20th January 2017, 10:17 am
Justice Minister Claire Sugden and, at right, former SDLP MLA John Dallat

Ms Sugden told the ‘Journal’ she hopes to retain her seat but says following Assembly elections on March 2 a solution to the Stormont crisis must be found,

“There is no alternative,” Ms Sugden told the ‘Journal’ last night.

“If we can’t make devolution work what is the alternative - Direct Rule? That’s not where we want to go. Northern Ireland people should be making decisions about Northern Ireland. A solution has to be found.”

The outgoing Independent MLA is throwing her hat in the ring for one of five seats in East Derry.

She said she never thought that less than a year into her mandate she would be fighting to keep her seat in East Derry.

“Last year I asked you to vote for me on the basis that I would work hard for you for five years. You did vote for me and I intend on keeping my promise to you,” said Ms Sugden on her Facebook page.

“I will again stand Independent because I see no other way that ensures that I can keep putting the interests of my constituents first.”

Sinn Fein have already selected former MLA Cathal O’hOisin, and outgoing MLA Caoimhe Archibald to run in East Derry.

The SDLP are expected to announce their candidate in the coming days.

However, the ‘Journal’ understands among those to put their name forward for selection include outgoing East Derry MLA Gerry Mullan, who was elected last year.

The ‘Journal’ also understands former East Derry MLA, John Dallat has put his name forward.

Mr Dallat stepped down from politics last year after almost 40 years.