One of the new faces on the SDLP ticket for the upcoming Derry and Strabane District Council elections is Foyleside candidate Rory Farrell.
The would-be councillor will be a familiar face to many in his role as manager in SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood’s busy constituency office in Northside Village Centre.
The 38-year-old Lawrence Hill native already performs many duties that constituents would come to expect from an effective local councillor. Rory feels that managing a large variety of queries, including housing, benefits, tax credits, pensions, planning and community safety, has afforded him “invaluable experience that would be of immense benefit” to members of the local community.
In addition to his day job, Rory also holds senior positions within the SDLP organisation locally, operating as secretary to the Derry District Executive and Foyle Constituency Council.
Quizzed as to why he wants to represent the people of his district and the wider city, Rory says: “I am passionate about Derry. I love this city and its citizens, but I feel we deserve much more. We are the unemployment capital of the North and we top every conceivable league table in terms of social deprivation. This must change.”
Rory feels that delivering the One Plan is “critical” to Derry’s future economic and social development.
“Derry needs investment. Investment at Magee. Investment in infrastructure, both road and rail. Investment in our tourism offer. Investment in facilities. Only then will we attract the elusive foreign direct investment projects that will create the wealth and confidence that this city most definitely needs.”
The council candidate added: “I believe the new ‘super’ council will play a massive role in delivering this much-needed investment for Derry. I want to be part of that team. I want to be part of the team that shapes Derry’s future through sensible decision making at council and I want to be part of the team that holds the DUP/Sinn Féin-controlled Executive to account for their blatant disregard of Derry’s plight.”
Rory is “confident” that the SDLP will return three councillors in the new look five-seat Foyleside District Electoral Area, largely based on the existing Northland area.