Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Councillor wins poll from sick bed

DUP leader Peter Robinson visits Cllr Eddie Thompson (left) with Strangford MLA Jonathan Bell

A DUP council candidate had his hands raised high in the air as his election win was announced, but not by choice.

New Ards borough member Eddie Thompson has been in the Ulster Hospital since Easter Tuesday after breaking both arms and dislocating both elbows in a fall while painting his fence.

So while party supporters cheered his victory in Ards East at the count centre, he was confined to the ward in traction trying to keep in touch with developments on the radio and by phone.

The 58-year-old conceded it was not the most auspicious start to his term.

"The only way is up as far as I can see," he joked. "It would have been nice to be at the count centre but it's just one of those things."

The council new boy tripped and fell over on a concrete path outside his garage as he returned from retrieving a paint brush.

DUP leader Peter Robinson, who paid the councillor a visit on Wednesday, joked: "I would hope that other candidates across the country don't look towards Eddie's rather dramatic way to avoid canvassing during the later stages of the campaign."

Fellow candidates shared out the father of three's patch to ensure every door was knocked on in his absence.

Mr Robinson added: "I know that all of his colleagues rallied around and delivered a highly successful result within Ards East winning four out of six seats.

"I would like to wish Eddie a very speedy recovery, and after several weeks in hospital I know that he is keen to get home and represent his constituents within Ards East."

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