Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Ex-Alliance chief Sean Neeson bows out after 36 years

Retirement: Sean Neeson
Retirement: Sean Neeson

A former leader of the Alliance Party is retiring from politics after 36 years.

Sean Neeson will stand down from Carrickfergus council at the end of this month, two years after quitting the Assembly.

The 67-year-old was among councillors who were threatened when loyalists stormed a council meeting during the height of the Union flag row last December.

But Mr Neeson, a Catholic who became mayor of the mainly unionist borough, was well used to the white heat of politics.

More than a decade earlier, he steered his party through the choppy waters of power-sharing politics following the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

He said yesterday: "The main thing I hope I will be remembered for is as a good constituency worker, for which I have depended a lot on my wife, Carol.

"It has been an honour to have served my constituents for so long.

"It has been a very rewarding experience and I'm glad to see the progress that has been made over the past four decades."

The former East Antrim MLA, now a grandparent, said he had "mixed feelings" about retiring but added: "It's the right time."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz