Belfast Telegraph

Local Election 2019

DUP's Carla welcomes her first child

Carla Lockhart's son Charlie
Carla Lockhart's son Charlie
Carla Lockhart and son Charlie
Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

The DUP prides itself on being a party that delivers after elections - but one of its politicians seems to have taken that somewhat literally.

Upper Bann MLA Carla Lockhart started last Friday hoping to see more party colleagues elected to Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council - but instead got her own new member of the house.

The election agent rushed out of the Banbridge Leisure Centre count at lunchtime after going into labour.

For a full breakdown visit our Election hub and check out the results from each council: Antrim and Newtownabbey --- Ards and North Down --- Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon --- Belfast --- Causeway Coast and Glens --- Derry and Strabane --- Fermanagh and Omagh --- Lisburn and Castlereagh --- Mid and East Antrim --- Mid Ulster --- Newry, Mourne and Down

"So my day yesterday got very interesting," she said, announcing the birth on social media. "My little bundle decided it was time to make an entry to this world.

"Leaving the count at lunch time there was a super quick journey to Craigavon Area Hospital and at 8.15pm Charlie Condell was born weighing a tiny 6lb 3oz.

"Rodney Condell and I feel so blessed. He is just perfect in every way. A wee dude and a little miracle. Thank you so much to my consultant Geoff McCracken and the fantastic team at Craigavon Area Hospital."

Ms Lockhart is married to part-time farmer and quantity surveyor Rodney Condell.

In May 2017, in an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, she talked of how she had previously suffered two miscarriages.

"If it's God's plan, we would like children. I'd be more than happy with one," she said.

Party colleagues and political rivals have been sending congratulations to the new parents.

Margaret Tinsley, who was re-elected to ABC council, posted on Facebook: "So this is where our election agent disappeared to yesterday!"

Others sending wishes included new DUP councillor Alison Bennington, DUP MEP Diane Dodds and fellow new mum, SDLP MLA Nichola Mallon, who had her third child recently.

Key moments

ALAN GRAHAM: The Bangor farmer who once told singer Rihanna to “cover up” as she filmed a music video in his field has lost his seat on the North Down and Ards council. The long-serving DUP man hit headlines across the world after intervening as the Barbadian singer wore a skimpy outfit while filming a video for her 2011 hit We Found Love in his grain field in Bangor. He was a former mayor of the borough.

JOLENE BUNTING: The controversial independent unionist, who hit the headlines following her association with right-wing Britain First activists Jayda Fransen and Paul Golding, lost her seat in the Court area of Belfast. “While I am obviously disappointed with today’s results, I’m not deterred. I will continue to fight for my children’s future. I will never surrender,” the ousted councillor insisted on social media.

MICHAEL AND MATTHEW COLLINS: Two brothers have been elected to Belfast City Council for the left-wing People Before Profit (PBP) party. Michael Collins was elected for the Collin area, joining brother Matthew Collins, who held on to his existing seat in the Black Mountain division. PBP now has five councillors across NI, including Sixties veteran Eamonn McCann, who was elected to Derry City and Strabane Council.

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