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West Belfast: Left hook stuns Sinn Fein in its very heartland

By Staff Reporter

Published 09/05/2016

Gerry Carroll celebrates at the West Belfast count after being elected
Gerry Carroll celebrates at the West Belfast count after being elected

The west awakes today to a new Left-wing political dynamic after People Before Profit's Gerry Carroll swept into Stormont like a tornado with thousands of votes to spare.

Elsewhere, the sun nearly set on two of the constituency's veteran politicians.

The SDLP was left scrambling for transfers to see former Executive minister Alex Attwood squeezing home in a tense final countdown by just 87 votes.

Mr Attwood admitted he thought he was a goner and that he'd be beaten by the DUP's Frank McCoubrey, who had given the fight to replant the Union flag in the nationalist stronghold his best shot.

That he didn't manage it despite a monumental push by his party left unionists wondering if they would ever have an MLA in the constituency again.

Sinn Fein said "slan" to one of its five seats, but it knew the Carroll effect would cost it.

Rosie McCorley was the loser, but Alex Maskey, Fra McCann, Pat Sheehan and Jennifer McCann were all winners.

The area's old MP Gerry Adams came to the count to applaud his colleagues' achievements - and denied that a certain N-word had been an issue on the doorsteps.

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