The Alliance Party has selected Castlewellan man Andy McMurray as its newest councillor for Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to represent the Slieve Croob area.
Mr McMurray, who is married with 2 children, is an outdoor instructor and youth worker at the Ardnabannon Outdoor Education Centre.
Speaking at the special meeting to confirm his selection he said: “Throughout the entirety of my life Northern Irish politics has been dominated by the competing narratives of Unionism/Nationalism Loyalism/Republicanism. I have never felt comfortable subscribing to any of these.
“Alliance is the only party that cannot be bounded by these narratives. I am a firm believer of middle ground politics. Be this in the Northern Irish context or the wider left/right spectrum. Other local parties masquerade as being of the ‘middle ground’, but only Alliance has the track record and vision to deliver a truly shared society.
“Through my role as a youth worker at Ardnabannon I meet young people from every community across Northern Ireland. I see the need to have a society where our young people can grow up without fear from intimidation resulting from sectarianism, racism or other hate crimes. Alliance offers a genuine alternative to negative politics where everyone is welcome.
“I am proud to have the opportunity to serve all the people of Slieve Croob and look forward to working with Councillor Patrick Brown as part of a strong and growing Alliance team.”