Jimmy Carr replacement welcomed to first meeting

In: Mark O'Donnell
In: Mark O'Donnell

Former Derry City Councillor Jimmy Carr’s replacement has taken his seat at his first council meeting.

Mark O’Donnell made his first official appearance as an SDLP Councillor at the July meeting of the Full Council at the Guildhall this week.

Former Derry City Councillor Jimmy Carr.

Former Derry City Councillor Jimmy Carr.

He was appointed following the resignation of Mr Carr in controversial circumstances last month.

SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly, speaking at the meeting on Tuesday, notified members that the co-option had taken place.

“I want to formally and on behalf of our party welcome him to his first meeting,” Colr Reilly said.

He added that Mr O’Donnell had been a long-standing member of the SDLP and that the party had confidence in him to represent the people of the Greater Shantallow area.

Sinn Fein Councillor Paul Fleming welcomed Colr. O’Donnell, saying: “I look forward to working along with him.”

DUP Councillor Maurice Devenney added: “We look forward to working with you over the next couple of months.”

Mr Carr resigned from the council and the SDLP following allegations in a Sunday newspaper that he sent lewd messages on a council-owned tablet computer.

The newspaper had also alleged Mr Carr had criticised senior party members.

In his resignation letter, Mr Carr said that in light of allegations he felt “that I must concentrate on my health and my personal life in a private and non-confrontational arena”.

In May, just days before the election for the new Derry-Strabane Supercouncil, the SDLP said it was withdrawing support for Mr Carr after it emerged police were in possession of a tablet computer owned by Derry City Council.

Mr Carr went on to stand as an independent candidate but failed to get elected, although he polled over 600 first preferences.

His successor Colr. O’Donnell will serve until the new Derry-Strabane supercouncil takes over from Derry City Council in April 2015.