Belfast Telegraph

Five in running for Barry McElduff West Tyrone Westminster seat

Orfhlaith Begley with Michelle O'Neill
Orfhlaith Begley with Michelle O'Neill
Thomas Buchanan of the DUP at his constituency office
Stephen Donnelly, Alliance
Daniel McCrossan
UUP councillor Chris Smyth has been selected to represent the party at the West Tyrone by-election.

Five candidates are contesting the West Tyrone by-election.

Nominations closed on Tuesday for the by-election, which will be held on May 3.

It was called after the resignation of Sinn Fein's Barry McElduff over his Kingsmill loaf tweet

They include Sinn Fein's Orfhlaith Begley, who is defending a 10,000-plus majority in a seat where the party took just over 50% of votes cast in last year's general election.

Thomas Buchanan is contesting the seat for the DUP, Stephen Donnelly for the Alliance, Daniel McCrossan for the SDLP and Chris Smyth for the UUP.

Former MP Mr McElduff quit in January, 10 days after a controversy flared when he posted a video of himself with a Kingsmill-branded loaf on his head on the anniversary of the 1976 Kingsmill massacre.

He insisted it was not an intentional reference to the murders of 10 Protestant workmen by republican paramilitaries, but he acknowledged he had caused hurt and offence to victims' families.

Thomas Buchanan of the DUP at his constituency office
Thomas Buchanan of the DUP at his constituency office
Stephen Donnelly, Alliance
Daniel McCrossan
UUP councillor Chris Smyth has been selected to represent the party at the West Tyrone by-election.

Sinn Fein vice president Michelle O'Neill has said she expects a strong showing, portraying the poll as the first chance for voters to cast judgment on the breakdown of the Stormont talks process.

When she accompanied Carrickmore solicitor Ms Begley as she lodged her nomination papers in Omagh last Thursday, she said she did not expect the tweet controversy to affect Sinn Fein's vote.

She said: "Barry did the right thing when he realised there was an error of judgment.

"He did the wrong thing, it wasn't intentional, but he himself recognised that hurt was caused, he took action, he stood out of political office, which is a big decision for anybody to take.

"We wish Barry well in the future but this is now an election in West Tyrone about Orfhlaith Begley, this is about getting Orfhlaith Begley elected."

Families of murdered workmen attend an evening service in 1976 as six coffins of IRA victims are brought to church in Bessbrook the night before the funerals of those killed in the Provisional IRA's infamous sectarian Whitecross (Kingsmill) Massacre. The IRA lined up the occupants of a workers minibus carrying 11 protestants and one catholic, before releasing the catholic man and mowing down the 10 protestant workmen, leaving the critically injured Mr Alan Black for dead. Alan Lewis Photopress
Families of murdered workmen attend an evening service in 1976 as six coffins of IRA victims are brought to church in Bessbrook the night before the funerals of those killed in the Provisional IRA's infamous sectarian Whitecross (Kingsmill) Massacre. The IRA lined up the occupants of a workers minibus carrying 11 protestants and one catholic, before releasing the catholic man and mowing down the 10 protestant workmen, leaving the critically injured Mr Alan Black for dead. Alan Lewis Photopress
The victims of the Kingsmill massacre (clockwise from top left): Robert Chambers; John Bryans; Joseph Lemmon; James McWhirter; Robert Freeburn; Robert Walker; Reginald Chapman; Kenneth Worton; John McConville and Walter Chapman
Kimgsmill massacre aftermath
Walter Chapman
John McConville
Kenneth Worton
Reginald Chapman
Robert Walker
Robert Freeburn
James McWhirter
Joseph Lemmon
John Bryans
Robert Chambers
The funeral service for five victims of the Kingsmills massacre at the Presbyterian church grounds in Bessbrook
Alan Black was shot 18 times but survived the Kingsmills massacre
Alan Black in hospital after the IRA shot him and killed 10 of his colleagues at Kingsmills
Alan Black:Survivor of the Kingsmill, Armagh, Massacre/Shooting, when he was shot with his 10 workmates in an ambushon their way home from work by gunmen. Pictured at the Kingsmill Memorial monument. 4/1/1981
A man lays a wreath at the Kingsmill memorial in South Armagh (PA)
People attend a roadside service marking the 42nd anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre (Brian Lawless/PA)
Karen Armstrong holds a photograph of her brother John McConville, who was killed in the Kingsmill attack
Sisters Cathy Michale, Colleen McKenna and Eileen Reavey unveil the monument to commemorate their brothers in Whitecross, Armagh
The crowd assembled at the service of remembrance for the victims held at the Town Hall in Bessbrook yesterday to mark the 40th anniversary of the atrocity

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