Belfast Telegraph

New Dawn for east Belfast as ‘Shinner’ joins the party

by Fiona Rutherford

Newly independent MLA Dawn Purvis’s supporters were out in force for the opening of her new constituency office at 5-11 Holywood Road (facing Holywood arches) on Saturday.

The office was officially opened by Tim McGarry, aka Shinner ‘Da' from the Hole in the Wall Gang, alongside Dawn's eldest son Ernest and Agnes Drake who is Dawn's most regular caller.

Ms Purvis quit as leader of the PUP after the UVF was linked to the murder of Bobby Moffatt in the Shankill Road in May.

She said: “I have been delighted with the positive response I have received in recent months and the influx of support — it means a lot to me.

“This new office ensures that the essential constituency services I provide will continue and I am delighted to offer that first class service. The people of east Belfast need that representation and I will continue this work as an independent.”

On the ‘Sinn Fein' opening she quipped: “I thought it was about time a Shinner opened something of significance in east Belfast and ‘Da' as a ‘leading member' of Sinn Fein fits the bill. It is obviously tongue in cheek, but Tim McGarry was brave enough to take it on. While in good humour it does symbolise the strides Northern Ireland is taking forward.

“I hope that this opening epitomises what my politics will continue to be about — pushing boundaries, people orientated, grass roots based and in good humour.”

On her future and life as an independent, Ms Purvis added: “The fact I have had such support from a vast range of people is overwhelming. I will continue to push forward as an independent, continuing to challenge the wrongs in our society and fighting for the continued evolution of our country's politics.

“Our politics and politicians need to better meet the needs of the people and concentrate on improving lives and creating a more equitable society.

“I will work with all those with common goals and against those with more selfish, sectarian or conservative motivations.”

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