Belfast Telegraph

O Muilleoir makes political return

Former Sinn Fein representative Mairtin O Muilleoir has said he wants to return to politics at Belfast City Council to "give something back".

The high profile republican will remain as the managing director of the Belfast Media Group, but said he will commit himself to being elected next year for the Balmoral area.

A Sinn Fein meeting is expected to endorse his bid to replace Alex Maskey, who is leaving Belfast City Council, but who will remain a South Belfast MLA.

But Mr O Muilleoir denied that his return to politics would see him also make a bid for Gerry Adams's West Belfast Westminster seat when the Sinn Fein president steps down to stand for election in the Dail next year.

On his decision to put himself forward as a potential council candidate, Mr O Muilleoir said: "I think it is an important time to give back to the city.

"I have spent 10 years in the City Hall, I have now spent the last 13 years building businesses, and involved in civic life.

"I want to take that experience together and bring it back to the leadership of Belfast and back to the City Hall."

Mr O Muilleoir, who wrote a book about his experiences in City Hall during the tense 1980s, said his business ventures had since pumped over £1 million per year in wages into the local economy.

He said he now saw the Balmoral area of south Belfast as a "business engine" for the city and he wished to encourage commerce and help build a city "with space and fair play for all".

Former IRA hunger striker Pat Sheehan is to replace Mr Adams at the Assembly, but there is continuing speculation over who might eventually seek to take on his Westminster seat.

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