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Sinn Fein propose co-option of Michaela Boyle for vacancy left by death of Ivan Barr

2 June, 2008

Cllr Brian McMahon, Sinn Féin group leader on Strabane District Council, has announced that long standing party activist Michaela Boyle has been selected by local party members as the proposed co-option to fill the vacancy left on the local government body as a result of the death of esteemed party colleague Ivan Barr last month.

He has also announced that the Sinn Fein grouping will be proposing Cllr Jarlath McNulty for the position of Council Chair when the AGM of Strabane District Council convenes on Tuesday night.

Cllr Mc Mahon said,

"Ivan's death is an irreplaceable loss to Sinn Fein and it was with a heavy heart that the local organisation has had to sit down and begin to consider the issue of not only finding a replacement for the position of Council Chair for the coming year, which Ivan had been scheduled to take up at Tuesday night's AGM, but also the issue of selecting a candidate for proposed co-option in time to coincide with Tuesday night's AGM date.

"After a series of meetings in recent weeks the internal party process to consider both of these issues is now complete:

"Local party members in the Mourne electoral area have unanimously endorsed the nomination of long standing party activist Michaela Boyle as the proposed co-option to fill the vacancy left on Council as a result of the death of our esteemed friend and comrade Ivan.

"Michaela is 41, a married mother of four girls and has recently become a grandmother for the first time. Born and raised in the Ballycolman she has a strong background in community and voluntary work including past involvement in Ballycolman Community Association, Counselling with Foyle Advocates, girls GAA, St Mary's Girls PTA and youth work with Melmount Parish.

"She joined the local Jim Mc Ginn Sinn Féin Cumann in 1997. Since then she has been involved in a broad range of political and constituency issues work. As someone who has amassed vast experience especially in dealing with bread and butter issues over the years she will bring to Council, its internal and external committees and the local DPP, the same dedication and commitment that she applies to every other aspect of work that she does.

"Cllr Jarlath McNulty has been unanimously endorsed by the Sinn Fein grouping on Council to take on the role of Council Chair for the coming year and through the party's entitlement under the d'Hondt system will now be scheduled to replace our outgoing party colleague Cllr Gerard Foley on Tuesday night.

"Finally, I would just like to say that the gaping void left in so many peoples lives by Ivan's death, and particularly in the lives of Judy, children, brothers and sisters and extended Barr family circle, will be most keenly felt on Tuesday night when for the first time in 23 years Ivan will not be gracing the Council Chamber for the AGM with his vast knowledge, wisdom, tolerance and common sense approach. I believe that the best tribute we can pay is to continue to build on the immense positive legacy that Ivan has left behind both inside and outside Council for this and future generations." ENDS

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