Northern Ireland news

Third member of Durkan family to enter world of politics

Barrister, Mary Durkan will contest this year's Derry City and Strabane District Council election for the SDLP.
Seamus McKinney

A THIRD member of the SDLP's Durkan family is to enter the world of politics, the party has confirmed.

Barrister Mary Durkan, a sister of assembly member Mark H and a niece of former leader Mark Durkan, is to contest this year's local government elections for Derry City and Strabane District Council. Ms Durkan's name was on a list of seven new candidates issued by the party yesterday who will stand alongside sitting SDLP members of the council.

A former president of Queen's Students' Union, Ms Durkan is a practising barrister, specialising in family law. While this year's poll will be her first taste of electoral politics, the Derry woman has been involved in the Derry Girls Against Borders Campaign, established to oppose Brexit.

Ms Durkan's uncle, Mark senior, entered politics straight from university. After serving as vice president of the Student Union of Ireland, he took up a position in former leader, John Hume's office before becoming a member of the old Derry City Council and later an assembly member and MP for the city. Her brother, Mark H, also served as a Derry city councillor before becoming an assembly member and later a member of the Stormont executive.

Ms Durkan said: "I look forward to working as part of the SDLP, in partnership with Fianna Fáil, to reboot politics here to deliver positive changes for people and communities across the island."

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