Sinn Féin comfortably win Fews By-Election
Sinn Féin Councillor Turlough Murphy said that he was deeply heartened by the solid endorsement of Sinn Féin in the Fews area once again and he thanked all those who voted for him in the Fews area by election. He said that like most of the community was angry that the by election had taken place at all.
Cllr. Murphy said:
"This was not a serious election in any sense except that of the many thousands of pounds that it has cost the ratepayers of Newry and Mourne. William Frazer who is viewed by many as nothing more than a leading apologist for loyalist paramilitaries, did not canvass the Fews area, did not try to engage with all those who live here, he stuck up number of Posters and that was the sum total of his attempt to represent the people of the Fews area.
"The result here today clearly shows that William Frazer was never a credible candidate despite his endorsement by the Unionist groupings on Newry and Mourne Council. This Unionist alliance aligned themselves with a candidate who very publicly declared his admiration for loyalist killer Billy Wright, and only last week accused the ambulance service of practically aiding and abetting a death.
"Those Councillors in the Unionist grouping who deliberately created the situation where in their vindictive attempt to steal a bona fide nationalist seat have cost this Council, all our communities, many thousands of pounds. This is a view that is shared by many and it was unfortunate that the SDLP whilst stating these views privately as they were doing, decided that they publicly would use this by election to attack the integrity of Sinn Féin and the legitimate mandate of the nationalist people.
"Despite this attack this nationalist seat has been retained and I am thankful that the nationalist community came out to vote. It is also quite obvious from this result that the Fews area community were very disappointed by the call by the SDLP not to vote. Finally I am challenging the Unionist Grouping of Councillors on Newry and Mourne to justify their support for what was a complete waste of many thousands of pounds by causing this Fews area by election and I call on all Councillors, the Unionist Councillors in particular, to adhere to what is regarded by most as normal procedure and allow co options to take place when Council vacancies occur." ENDS