Belfast Telegraph

Orlaithi is in like Flynn as Attwood exits stage left

West Belfast

By Ivan Little

She wasn't even born when Alex Attwood was establishing himself as a major figure within the SDLP.

But as 28-year-old Orlaithi Flynn, the daughter of an IRA bomber, was winning her first election in West Belfast for Sinn Fein, Attwood was bowing out after his last poll.

Almost all the broadcasters got Ms Flynn's Christian name wrong, ignoring the 'i' at the end.

But Alex Maskey, who also won comfortably in his West Belfast stomping ground, was predicting that her name would soon be on a lot of lips.

Two more of Sinn Fein's old guard, Fra McCann and Pat Sheehan, were also returned in a hugely successful election in the constituency.

Gerry Carroll, who barnstormed his way to the top of the poll 10 months ago with People Before Profit, wasn't number one this time around. But he said that was because Sinn Fein had thrown so much of its resources into the campaign against him.

But Attwood, 31 years a politician, was the big loser.

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