Martin Reilly ‘immensely grateful’ to Waterside electorate as count is completed in Derry

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Martin Reilly has said he is looking forward to the formal certification of the completed Waterside District Electoral Area (DEA) local election count next week.

The SDLP councillor for the Waterside, who has been an elected representative for 18 years, retained his seat after the count for the DEA resumed at Stage 7 in the Foyle Arena on Wednesday.

The completion of the count was mandated after the Alliance Party lodged a petition with the High Court seeking a distribution of outstanding transfers.

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The challenge was mounted after Alliance’s Philip McKinney was excluded at Stage 6 of the count in May and SDLP councillors Sean Mooney and Martin Reilly were deemed elected.

Martin ReillyMartin Reilly
Martin Reilly

Mr. McKinney trailed Councillor Reilly by just 49 votes and the petition sought the continuation of the count at Stage 7 with the distribution of the surpluses of DUP councillors Chelsea Cooke (161.5 votes) and Niree McMorris (3.06 votes).

At the continuation of the count on Wednesday Colr. Reilly is understood to have held on to his seat by a margin of around 10 votes but the outcome of the process will not be formally declared until a hearing next week.

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Alliance party lodge High Court petition over Waterside election count in Derry ...

Councillor Martin Reilly said: “I’m delighted that the democratic process has now been fulfilled in the Waterside and I can continue to fight hard for everyone across our communities.

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"I am immensely grateful to everyone who has supported me and will work hard over the next four years to repay their faith.

“I look forward to the formal certification of the result in court next week.”

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP said that the result reflected Colr. Reilly’s hard work for and support from people across our communities.

The formal declaration of the result is to be certified by the High Court next week.

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Mr. Eastwood said: “I’m delighted for Martin today – he works incredibly hard for people from every community in the Waterside every day and that’s why they’ve chosen him to be their representative. He’s had a long wait but the result is a testament to his approach to fighting hard for every community in the long and proud tradition of the SDLP.”