Belfast Telegraph

Constituency profile: Newry and Armagh

In the Newry and Armagh constituency, fears of a hard border following Brexit is a key issue for many voters.

Sinn Fein’s Mickey Brady won his Westminster seat in 2015 with 20,488 votes — a comfortable margin of just over 4,000 votes ahead of the UUP’s Danny Kennedy.

In the March Assembly election, Mr Kennedy lost his seat following a bruising day at the polls for his party.

With his high profile in the area, it could have been assumed he was the natural candidate to stand for Westminster this month.

But speaking shortly after his recent defeat he indicated it was unlikely he would be returning to elected politics.

The Ulster Unionists are now standing councillor and architect Sam Nicholson.

Although not as well known as the other established candidates, Mr Nicholson is hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps to Westminster.

Jim Nicholson was MP for the area between 1983-84 before later being elected to the European parliament.

The DUP will now stand William Irwin, after the DUP leader Arlene Foster and UUP leader Robin Swann could not agree over an electoral pact for this seat.

Mr Irwin topped the poll at the Assembly election and was the sole unionist to keep his seat.

Justin McNulty is standing for the SDLP. The former GAA All-Ireland winner finished third overall in the Assembly election, which he called a great day for nationalism.

The Alliance candidate is Jackie Coade who has the gargantuan task of making an impact in one of Sinn Fein’s most secure seats.

Candidates

Mickey Brady (Sinn Fein)

Jackie Coade (Alliance)

William Irwin (DUP)

Justin McNulty (SDLP)

Sam Nicholson (UUP)

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