Northern Ireland news

Sinn Féin's Pat Doherty to retire after 16 years as West Tyrone MP

Barry McElduff has been selected to stand for Sinn Féin in West Tyrone. Picture by Mal McCann

BARRY McElduff has been selected to stand for Sinn Féin in West Tyrone after veteran MP Pat Doherty announced his retirement.

The 50-year-old from Carrickmore, an MLA for the area, was confirmed after Mr Doherty did not seek his party's nomination.

He has represented the constituency for 16 years and was re-elected in 2015 with a 10,000-vote majority.

Tributes were paid to Mr Doherty last night, including from SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan, who wished him a "very healthy and happy retirement with his wife and family".

Mr McElduff has been an assembly member for West Tyrone since 1998.

Meanwhile, Sinn Fein's Paul Maskey, the MP for West Belfast, was selected to stand again in the constituency.

And in Foyle, the SDLP selected sitting MP Mark Durkan to stand again.

Speaking at a convention in Derry's Playhouse last night, he said it was important the constituency continues to have a voice in

Parliament to oppose Brexit and new benefit cuts.

"Given the delicacy and seriousness in the coming phases, this is not a time for letting (the DUP's) Gregory Campbell be the only Derry voice in the Commons on Brexit, the island economy or the fundamental features of the Good Friday Agreement," he said.

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