Derry & Strabane SDLP Councillor Mary Durkan to stand down

SDLP Councillor Mary Durkan has announced she is to stand down from Derry City & Strabane District Council “after a great deal of soul searching”.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 8:52 am

Councillor Durkan, who topped the poll in Foyleside ward, with 1,231 first preference votes in the Council elections back in May 2019, said she will vacate her seat on Monday, May 17.

In a statement posted on social media, Colr. Durkan said she felt she could contribute more outside of Council given the ‘limitations of party structures’.

“It has been an honour to serve the people of Derry and Strabane for the past couple of years. I am so grateful to everyone who afforded me that opportunity. “Thanks to all those who have offered me encouragement and kindness along the way.

Mary Durkan topped the poll in Foyleside

“I have developed positive working relationships and forged new friendships inside and outside the chamber.”

Colr. Durkan, who has been a vocal advocate in the Council for young people, environmental, climate action, equality and rights issues, said she put her heart and soul into the role.

“My constituency case-work, campaigning and activism have been broad and varied. I have enjoyed providing a platform for a range of voices. I have been enthused, in particular, by the passion and energy of young people seeking to build a better and fairer world, leading the way on climate action and social justice issues. The resilience of people during the most difficult of times is humbling and inspirational.

“My original decision to enter frontline politics, agreeing to run for Council, was not a decision taken lightly. I felt driven, though, to challenge the political stalemate and resultant lack of delivery which had scarred my hometown.

SDLP Colr. Mary Durkan. DER0720GS - 015

“Clearly, we have a long way to go and there is still an immense job of work to be done. I have concluded, though, that in light of limitations of party structures, my contribution would be more effectively made outside of Council.”

She added: “I am immensely proud of this city and its people. As I step into a new chapter, I remain dedicated to Derry and steadfast in my pursuit of a fair deal for the North West of Ireland. I will continue to work with all parties, groups and individuals who share that objective. Strength through unity is more vital than ever: Ní neart go cur le chéile.

“Although I am stepping down from Council, I promise to keep stepping up for Derry. I am ‘giving up a seat but still taking a stand’.”