Belfast Telegraph

Former MP Barry McElduff bidding for council seat

He stepped down last year after an outcry prompted by him posting a video of himself balancing a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head.

A former MP, Barry McElduff, who resigned after angering relatives of 10 Protestants shot dead in a sectarian massacre will discover later whether he has won a council seat (Barry McElduff/PA).
A former MP, Barry McElduff, who resigned after angering relatives of 10 Protestants shot dead in a sectarian massacre will discover later whether he has won a council seat (Barry McElduff/PA).

A former MP who resigned after angering relatives of 10 Protestants shot dead in a sectarian massacre will discover later whether he has won a council seat.

Barry McElduff is standing for  Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in the local government poll.

He stepped down last year after an outcry prompted by him posting a video of himself balancing a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head.

It was put on his Twitter account on the anniversary of the Kingsmills atrocity.

Ten workmen were shot dead by republicans in Co Armagh on January 5, 1976.

On Friday, the Democratic Unionist Party’s first openly gay candidate was elected in Northern Ireland.

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The Democratic Unionist Party’s first openly gay candidate, Alison Bennington, was elected in Northern Ireland (Dave Pettard/PA).

Alison Bennington was propelled onto Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council to represent the pro-union and Christian party and praised her supporters’ “good, hard work and good teamwork”.

The DUP’s founder, the late Rev Ian Paisley once led a campaign to, in his words, Save Ulster from Sodomy and prevent the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

Sidelined former DUP health minister Jim Wells has said his former leader would be “aghast”, but her victory was greeted by cheers and hugs from her supporters at a leisure centre near Belfast..

The DUP is staunchly opposed to same-sex marriage and has thwarted recent efforts to legalise it.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where it is banned, despite five attempts by the devolved administration to introduce it and calls on Westminster to bypass Stormont’s quarrelling politicians.

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DUP leader Arlene Foster said Miss Bennington winning a seat and the party’s policy on same sex marriage were two separate issues (Liam McBurney/PA)

DUP leader Arlene Foster said Miss Bennington winning a seat and the party’s policy on same-sex marriage were two separate issues.

The contest was dominated by early gains in the greater Belfast area for the centralist Alliance Party and Green Party, solid performances from Sinn Fein and the DUP and a slump in support for the Ulster Unionists.

A fresh bid to restore Stormont’s moribund powersharing institutions is to begin next week following the shooting dead of journalist Lyra McKee, 29, by dissident republicans in Londonderry in April.

The son of a prison officer shot dead by dissident republicans in 2012 was also elected for the DUP.

Kyle Black’s father David died following a motorway drive-by shooting.

The last Democratic Unionist/Sinn Fein-led powersharing coalition imploded amid a row about a botched renewable energy scheme.

The rift between the erstwhile partners-in-government subsequently widened to take in disputes over the Irish language, same-sex marriage and the legacy of the Troubles.

A total of 819 candidates are standing for 462 available seats across 11 council areas in Northern Ireland.

Antrim and Newtownabbey voters have re-elected a former DUP mayor following his recent conviction for drink driving.

Thomas Hogg served a five-month suspension from the council earlier this year.

He said: “I am overwhelmed to have been elected with 999 votes – my largest ever.”

In Londonderry in the far west, the nationalist SDLP’s Mary Durkan was elected. The barrister is the sister of Stormont Assembly member Mark H Durkan.

The council election is being conducted by single transferable vote, a proportional representation system.

PA

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