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Mid Ulster: Treble for republicans as McCrea name eclipsed

By Staff Reporter

Published 09/05/2016

SF’s Michelle O’Neill, Ian Milne and Linda Dillon celebrate
SF’s Michelle O’Neill, Ian Milne and Linda Dillon celebrate

The McCrea name used to be synonymous with elections in Northern Ireland - but that may have come to an end.

DUP veteran Rev Willie McCrea was unseated as South Antrim MP last year, but son Ian kept the family name in the political limelight as an MLA for Mid Ulster.

But on Friday night he bowed out when he was narrowly beaten by his party colleague Keith Buchanan. He said he was "disappointed".

The DUP duo were in a tussle for the last seat. It was reported that the local association had deselected Mr McCrea, but the DUP leadership then nominated him as a candidate, while not removing Mr Buchanan.

Mr Buchanan said: "What a night, they said it couldn't be done but we have done it. The people have certainly spoken, there is no grey area - they want change and they got change."

Sinn Fein had its three candidates - Ian Milne, Michelle O'Neill and Linda Dillon - elected on the first count.

The other seats went to Patsy McGlone (SDLP) and Sandra Overend (UUP).

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