Northern Ireland

Wife of Sinn Féin MLA John O'Dowd wins seat in Lurgan

Sinn Féin MLA John O'Dowd (centre) pictured with wife and newly elected Lurgan councillor Mary O'Dowd at Friday's count. Picture by Mal McCann
Sinn Féin MLA John O'Dowd (centre) pictured with wife and newly elected Lurgan councillor Mary O'Dowd at Friday's count. Picture by Mal McCann Sinn Féin MLA John O'Dowd (centre) pictured with wife and newly elected Lurgan councillor Mary O'Dowd at Friday's count. Picture by Mal McCann

THE wife of Sinn Féin MLA John O'Dowd has been elected as a councillor for Lurgan.

Mary O'Dowd was confirmed on Friday evening as a new councillor for the DEA on Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

Her husband, a former Stormont education minister, has represented the Upper Bann area since being elected in 2003.

Ms O'Dowd claimed 1,554 first preference votes, while her fellow Sinn Féin candidate and previously sitting councilor for Lurgan, Sorcha McGeown, earned 1,299 first preferences - up from 823 in 2019.

Meanwhile, fellow Sinn Féin candidate and returning councilor Liam Mackle, regained his seat with 1,835 first preferences.

However, the party's highest vote in Lurgan was won by fellow returning councillor, Keith Haughian who was returned with a first vote total of 2,153.

Mr O'Dowd was not the only sitting MLA to see a spouse enjoy council election success, as returning Maeve Donnelly, wife of East Antrim Alliance MLA Danny Donnelly, topped the poll for the party in the Larne Lough DEA of Mid and East Antrim.

Fellow Alliance candidate Michael Long, husband of MLA and party leader Naomi Long, was also returned in Belfast's Lisnasharragh DEA.