Family connection for Fermanagh’s newest councillors

The councill meets again in Enniskillen next week

The councill meets again in Enniskillen next week


THE SDLP and Ulster Unionists have revealed their chosen candidates to fill the two vacant seats on Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in the wake of last month’s Stormont elections.
The UUP will confirm today (Wednesday) its choice of Diana Armstong to replace Rosemary Barton on the council. The Killadeas woman is a daughter of former party leader, the late Harry West. Mr West was also the Unionist MP for Enniskillen between 1954 and 1972 and MP for Fermanagh-South Tyrone for several months in 1974. 
Ms Barton defeated her UUP running mate Alastair Patterson in the May elections in what was a close run race between the two. Just eight first preference votes separated Ms Barton, who received 3,018, from the outgoing MLA’s 3,010. 
Meanwhile the SDLP has selected Garbhan McPhillips to take the Erne East seat previously held by his father, Richie. The 30-year-old was revealed as his father’s successor following an internal selection process by the party last Thursday. 
Richie McPhillips had been a Councillor since 2014 but his seat was also left vacant after he was elected as the SDLP MLA for Fermanagh South Tyrone on May 7th. His success at the expense of Sinn Fein defied the odds and was viewed as the main coup of the 2016 election.
Both Ms Armstrong and Mr McPhillips will be co-opted at next week’s council meeting in Enniskillen Townhall. 
The SDLP will take over the chairmanship of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council at Tuesday night’s AGM with the UUP set to take the vice-chairman role.

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA