McCarthy disappointed Exploris will close as he announces he is standing down from Ards Council

Alliance Councillor Kieran McCarthy MLA has said he is ‘shocked and saddened’ his time on Ards Borough Council has ended with the planned closure of the Exploris Aquarium.

The Strangford MLA has announced he will stand down from Ards Borough Council at the end of September, after representing the Peninsula area for 28 years. He will continue to represent Strangford in the Northern Ireland Assembly and remains the Party’s Health Spokesperson.

Kieran MCarthy MLA said he has been ‘honoured’ to serve his constituents for so long, adding he was very disappointed the decision to close the aquarium, which has the potential to devastate the area, was taken during his last few weeks.

He said: “Exploris is the jewel in the tourism crown in Strangford. I am deeply disappointed that as I enter my last few weeks as a Councillor this devastating decision has been made.

“Not only are the DUP Councillors responsible for this decision, but DUP Ministers at the Assembly have also had a part to play. On numerous occasions I have asked the Ministers responsible for tourism and finance to take measures to protect and enhance Exploris. Sadly this has not happened.

“As a former Trade Union representative, I was elected to Ards Borough Council in 1985 to serve everyone and help everyone. This ethos has continued throughout my lengthy term and I have prided myself on tackling every problem, either big or small, my constituents have brought to me.

“I want to thank the rest of the Alliance team on Ards Borough Council, who are effectively leading change in the area. I know my replacement will be joining a hard-working, dedicated group who are committed to securing only the best for local people. For Northern Ireland to grow it is essential we create a shared future, and Alliance is the only Party with realistic ideas and proposals to achieve this.”

“At the end of September I will stand from Ards Borough Council, but I will continue to work hard and fight for all the people across Strangford as an MLA.”

The Alliance Party will announce Kieran McCarthy’s replacement in due course. His decision to stand down reflects the Alliance Party’s commitment to end double jobbing.

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