Belfast Telegraph

Veteran Kennedy washed away by a fast rising tide

Newry and Armagh

By Allan Preston

As voters came out in their droves in Newry and Armagh, the UUP's Danny Kennedy lamented being washed away by the Sinn Fein tide.

Three established Sinn Fein candidates were all returned - Cathal Boylan, Megan Fearon and Conor Murphy - along with the SDLP's Justin McNulty.

As the DUP's William Irwin topped the poll with 9,760 first preference votes, leaving him as the sole unionist representative, he admitted his victory was "tinged with sadness".

Mr Kennedy declined to say if his now former party leader Mike Nesbitt had scuppered his chances, with the two butting heads publicly over Mr Nesbitt's decision to transfer his vote to the SDLP.

Mr Boylan was elected alongside Mr Irwin in the first count, with 9,197 votes.

The SDLP's Justin McNulty - an All-Ireland GAA winner with Armagh - had a second successful year at the polls, elected at the second stage with 9,154. "The Arlene factor was immense," he said.

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