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Ex-Alliance chief Sean Neeson bows out after 36 years


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."

Belfast Telegraph


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