Michelle Gildernew's older brother named as new Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA

Colm Gildernew will replace his sister Michelle at Stormont

SINN Féin's newest Stormont representative Colm Gildernew is stepping into the shoes of his younger sister.

The 48-year-old has been co-opted as an MLA following Michelle Gildernew's election to Westminster last week.

Mr Gildernew is the third Sinn Féin co-optee to be named in recent days who has no previous experience of representative politics.

Earlier this week, the party named community worker Karen Mullan as its new representative in Foyle, while Catherine Kelly will replace Barry McElduff in West Tyrone. New South Down MP Chris Hazzard's replacement has yet to be named.

Mr Gildernew, who Sinn Féin said is not the brother of the former Stormont agriculture minister who has a domestic RHI boiler, is married with three children.

He is a traditional music enthusiast and founding member of the first Brantry Comhaltas Ceoltorí Éireann, an organisation promoting traditional music globally.

Mr Gildernew is a member of a number of community groups and chairman of both his local Sinn Féin cumann and the party's comhairle ceantair, or area council.

He has worked as a farmer and in an engineering company alongside his brother but most recently was employed as a social worker.

"I am proud to have been chosen for co-option to the assembly to replace Michelle Gildernew, who has just been elected as an MP," he said.

"I look forward to providing a new voice for the constituency alongside Jemma Dolan and Sean Lynch as well as the other Sinn Féin representatives to ensure the people of Fermanagh South Tyrone continue to get first-class representation."


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