David Ford stated: “It was a travesty of justice that Barney Fitzpatrick was not co-opted on to the council as he was runner-up in last year’s election. The public are unhappy that Ulster Unionists forced a costly by-election upon them less than a fortnight before Christmas.
“The Ulster Unionists are playing Scrooge with the public’s money because by wasting up to £15,000 on this unnecessary election. By forcing an election that no-one else wants, the Ulster Unionists are stopping this cash being invested in important local services.
“This election is about fairness and value for money. Barney Fitzpatrick represents these values and is well respected, having been a local Police Chief Superintendent.
“This election is about putting right the wrongs done when Dessie Stewart stole the election last year. In any sporting contest when the winner is disqualified, the runner-up gets the prize.
“No matter who you normally vote for, any sense of justice demands that you vote for Barney this time. When I made my first by-election visit to Skerries last week, a number of people told me that they will be voting for Barney this time round.
“The appalling waste of cash due to the Ulster Unionists forcing a by-election and the disgraceful electoral fraud of former DUP Councillor Dessie Stewart lets the people of Skerries see that Alliance candidate Barney Fitzpatrick is the best person for everyone in the area.”