SDLP Mayor John Boyle to switch constituency and lead effort to reclaim seat for party in Creggan and Bogside

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The sitting SDLP Mayor of Derry City & Strabane, Councillor John Boyle, will move constituency to lead the party's drive to reclaim a seat in the Creggan, Brandywell and Bogside area in the local council elections in May.

The Mayor will run alongside newcomer Cathy Breslin in The Moor District Electoral Area (DEA) of Derry City & Strabane District Council (DC&SDC), which comprises the electoral wards, the Brandywell, City Walls, Creggan, Creggan South and Sheriff's Mountain.

Colr. Boyle topped the poll in the Foyleside DEA - covering Ballymagroarty, Foyle Springs, Madam's Bank, Northland, and Springtown - in 2014.

He previously represented the Northland DEA of the old Derry City Council from 2011. The now defunct electoral area included the Crevagh, Diamond, Foyle Springs, Pennyburn, Rosemount, Springtown and Strand wards.

The SDLP has been without representation in The Moor since former councillor, Sean Carr, left the party in 2015.

However, it will believe there remain up to two SDLP quotas in the wider Creggan and Bogside area, which it hopes to translate into seats.

In fielding two candidates the SDLP hopes to avoid the mistake of running three in 2014 and ending up with just one councillor.

The party already knows it will face stiff opposition from Sinn Féin, which is running, Kevin Campbell, Patricia Logue, Sharon Duddy and Christina Burke, Independent Gary Donnelly, who topped the poll in the DEA in 2014, Eamonn McCann of People Before Profit, and Independent Emmet Doyle, who narrowly missed out on election for the SDLP in the constituency last time.

With nominations still open it is yet possible other candidates could enter the fray.

Sean Carr has already announced he will moving to the Foyleside DEA to contest elections there following the retirement of fellow Independent Darren O'Reilly at the end of this Council term.