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Alliance councillor appealing suspension from role after drink-driving conviction

Patrick Brown

Alliance councillor Patrick Brown is appealing his six-month suspension from the role after he was convicted of drink-driving.

The Irish News has reported that he was handed the suspension by a local government watchdog after he admitted the charge.

The Newry Mourne and Down councillor appeared in court in July charged with riding a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol.

He was fined and received a year long ban from driving, later reduced by three months after completing a driving course.

After referring himself to the Northern Ireland Local Government Commissioner for Standards, Councillor Brown was handed the six-month suspension on the grounds that brought his position and council into disrepute and was likely to have diminished public trust and confidence.

He is now set to take his case to the High Court next month in an attempt to have the suspension over-turned.

The case has been adjourned until June 4.

Councillor Brown has since apologised for his actions and contacted a number of drink-driving charities offering his support in an attempt to make amends.

It is understood he will be able to continue in his role as a councillor until his appeal is resolved.

In a statement issued last month. Mr Brown described his actions on the night as "a complete error of judgment and entirely out of character for me both as a person and a public representative".

"I referred myself to the Local Government Commissioner for Standards because they fell short of the high standards I set myself and which are set for me by the public. I am thankful no-one was hurt as the result of my stupidity and I make no excuse for my actions on the night in question," he said.

"I have learned from this experience, will never repeat it and will use it to warn others never to do the same."

No one was available for comment at the Northern Ireland Local Government Commissioner for Standards.

Belfast Telegraph