Political news

SDLP figures on board of Iona Institute

Alban Maginness is on the board of the Iona Institute. Picture by Cliff Donaldson

Two leading SDLP figures are among the board members of the recently-established northern arm of the socially conservative Iona Institute.

The party's former chairman Alban Maginness sits on its board, as does Mid and East Antrim Borough councillor Declan O'Loan.

Mr O'Loan's wife, former police ombudsman Nuala O'Loan, is the Iona Institute's patron.

The other two board members are Brett Lockhart QC and fellow barrister Mary Lewis.

The Iona Institute established a northern operation last year as a "sister organisation" to its counterpart in the Republic.

Baroness Nuala O'Loan is the Iona Institute's patron. Picture by Hugh Russell

Mr Maginness said it provided an "intelligent, intellectual resource for Christian thinking in Northern Ireland".

"While it's primarily Catholic it wouldn't be exclusively Catholic," he said.

In the wake of last month's Eighth Amendment referendum result, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald said the group was "tone deaf to women".

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