Mairia Cahill to be SDLP councillor in Lisburn
Former Irish Labour Senator Mairia Cahill is to be co-opted onto Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council to serve as an SDLP member, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.
The west Belfast woman, who comes from a strongly republican family background, was raped by an IRA man when she was a teenager. Later forced to face her abuser at a 'kangaroo court' organised by the IRA, she has in recent years become one of Sinn Fein's fiercest critics.
She is to be co-opted to serve the Killultagh ward on the city council, and will remain a member of the SDLP's sister party in the Republic.
"I am happy to be joining the SDLP while remaining an Irish Labour Party member also," she said. "I want to work for everybody as a councillor, so I won't simply be a nationalist councillor representing the nationalist community, but for anyone, nationalist, unionist and other. Over the last number of years I've spent a lot of time building relationships with the unionist community, and I hope to continue that outreach."