Sinn Féin select newcomers to replace Martina Anderson and Karen Mullan
SINN Féin was last night due to select replacements for Derry assembly members, Martina Anderson and Karen Mullan.
The names of four electoral new-comers were due to go before party members at a selection convention in the city.
The four candidates are Pádraig Delargy, Tiarnán Heaney, Amy Hamilton and Ciara Ferguson.
Strabane native Ms Ferguson is project manager at the Greater Shantallow Area Partnership while Mr Heaney worked with Ms Anderson when she served as one of the North’s three MEPs.
Following Ms Anderson’s co-option to the assembly last year, Mr Heaney was appointed office manager at her constituency office.
Both Mr Delargy and Ms Hamilton have been described as party activists.
Earlier this year, Ms Anderson and Ms Mullan agreed to a request from the Sinn Féin leadership to step aside in a major party review following a number of disastrous elections in Derry.
As well as losing five seats on Derry and Strabane council, the party’s Foyle MP, Elisha McCallion lost her seat in a landslide victory to SDLP leader, Colum Eastwood by more than 17,000 votes.
While the two sitting MLAs agreed to step aside, Ms Anderson described the development as a “body blow”. Her family also criticised the party leadership, describing Ms Anderson’s treatment as “brutal” and “disgraceful”.
Ms Anderson has taken up a new position in Sinn Féin, promoting Irish unity in Europe while Ms Mullan is overseeing cross-border co-ordination between the party’s TDs, MLAs and MPs in the north west.
Sinn Féin leader on Derry and Strabane council, Sandra Duffy said all candidates for the position were dedicated activists.
“This is clearly a new era for the party in Derry,” she said.
The new MLAs are expected to take up their positions at the beginning of the new sitting of the assembly on Monday.