Máiría Cahill looking forward to life as city councillor

Cllr Mairia Cahill
Cllr Mairia Cahill

The SDLP’s new councillor for Lisburn and Castlereagh, Máiría Cahill, says she’s looking forward to taking part in her first council meeting tonight.

The west Belfast woman was co-opted on to the local authority to serve the Killultagh district electoral area following the resignation of Christine Robb.

Commenting ahead of the meeting at Lagan Valley Island, the former Irish Labour Senator said: “I am looking forward to my first council meeting this evening, and more so to begin working for the constituents of Killultagh DEA, alongside a very committed and talented team in Lagan Valley.

“The SDLP in Lisburn and Castlereagh have been working on numerous issues, from the lack of school places and the need for additional resources for already under-pressure teachers, to the recent closures of stores in Bow Street Mall which illustrate the difficulties that small retailers in the area face.

“I have already hit the ground running with community engagement, particularly in regards to the large number of potholes in the area. I intend to put pressure on the Department for Infrastructure until the very shocking state of our rural roads in the area improve.

“I want to make it clear to all the constituents of the Killultagh DEA that I am committed to work for each and every household despite class or creed.”

Ms Cahill was plunged into the spotlight in 2010 after making allegations that she was raped by an IRA man in the 1990s when she was a teenager. She also claimed that she had subsequently been forced to face her abuser at a ‘kangaroo court’ organised by the terror organisation.

The man she accused of rape was later acquitted of criminal charges in court after she withdrew her evidence.

Ms Cahill’s appointment to Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council has been welcomed by SDLP leader Colum Eastwood and the party’s Lagan Valley MLA Pat Catney.