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Sinn Fein members to select replacement for Cllr Charlie Mc Hugh tonight

5 November, 2008

Sinn Fein members from the Derg Electoral area of Strabane District Council will meet in Castlederg tonight to select a candidate to replace Cllr Charlie Mc Hugh who died early last month.

A joint statement from Derg Sinn Fein councillors Gerard Foley and Kieran McGuire said:

"Sinn Fein Cumann members from throughout the Derg Electoral Area will be meeting in Castlederg tonight to select a candidate to replace our esteemed colleague Charlie who died last month.

"Charlie served this community with tremendous commitment and determination for 23 years and we are confident that the candidate selected tonight will build on his legacy.

"Sinn Fein will be proposing that the candidate selected tonight be co-opted un-apposed at next Tuesday night's Council meeting.

"There have been indications from some Unionist councillors that they will force a by-election. Such a move would be in extremely bad faith as it would be unprecedented in the history of this council and would go against the unwritten understanding that parties be allowed to co-opt in the event of the death of party colleague. Given the short tenure left in this Council term, ratepayers would also be angry that they would be forced to foot a considerable bill for a totally unnecessary by-election.

"However, if either the UUP or DUP oppose the co-option and force a by-election, Sinn Fein will leave no stone unturned to make sure that the seat held by our late colleague Charlie Mc Hugh is not only retained, but retained handsomely." ENDS

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