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SF's Declan Kearney set to run for seat

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At the weekend, Sinn Fein's national chairman, Declan Kearney, was talking about reconciliation as the next new phase of the peace process

At the weekend, Sinn Fein's national chairman, Declan Kearney, was talking about reconciliation as the next new phase of the peace process

At the weekend, Sinn Fein's national chairman, Declan Kearney, was talking about reconciliation as the next new phase of the peace process

One of Sinn Fein's most senior figures is set to take his first step from the party back room into the political spotlight.

The Belfast Telegraph understands that Declan Kearney will be selected as the party's South Antrim candidate at a electoral convention tonight.

It is understood the party's national chairperson is the only candidate on the list.

If selected he will replace the veteran Sinn Fein politican Mitchel McLaughlin who had been due to take over from the DUP's William Hay as Speaker before the DUP reneged on an agreement.

Meanwhile, the party has selected sitting MP Michelle Gildernew to stand in Fermanagh-South Tyrone.

It will be the fourth time the MP has stood there.

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt is keen for an electoral pact that would give the Ulster Unionists a free run in Fermanagh-South Tyrone in the General Election. He has asked that the DUP give the UUP support in North Belfast in return.

Belfast Telegraph