The SDLP has selected 22-year-old politics student Ally Haydock to contest the local government election in Killultagh following a rule which barred sitting Councillor Mairia Cahill from nominating.
Ms Haydock has worked closely with Lagan Valley MLA Pat Catney on a number of local issues including rural transport and school places.
“I’m delighted to be selected as a candidate for Killultagh for the SDLP,” said Ms Haydock. “I’m obviously hugely disappointed for my colleague Mairia Cahill who has been prevented from contesting this seat as a result of antiquated rules which make it harder for victims to run for public office. Mairia has been a strong voice for people here and I fully intend to follow in her footsteps.
“The SDLP has been working hard to deliver for people in Killultagh. Whether it’s access to rural transport, ensuring every child has a school place or cleaning up our city, we’re doing our best to affect change on the issues that matter to people.”
Lagan Valley MLA Pat Catney said: “I was devastated to lose Mairia Cahill to electoral bureaucracy. It’s hard enough to get good people involved in politics, it’s scandalous to bar good councillors from elections. I’m really glad that Ally has taken the decision to step up and continue the work we’ve been doing here to deliver for everyone in our community. She is a first class candidate and I’ll be doing everything in my power to show the people of Kilultagh that she deserves their support on May 2.”