Northern Ireland

SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan has declared all financial interests, party says after emerges new finance management company set up

Daniel McCrossan (Liam McBurney/PA)
Daniel McCrossan (Liam McBurney/PA)

SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan has declared all financial and other interests, the party said after it emerged the West Tyrone representative has set up a new management and real estate company.

Mr McCrossan, who also has half ownership of a bar in Strabane, set up the company, Blue Pebble Associates, in September.

The 35-year-old, first elected to the Assembly in 2016, has not yet publicly listed his involvement with the new company, of which he is a director along with an English-based accountant.

Blue Pebble has listed its activities as the buying and selling of real estate and financial management.

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“Daniel McCrossan has declared all of his financial and other interests openly, transparently and accountably in line with his obligations as an MLA," an SDLP spokesperson said.

DUP’s Edwin Poots  (Liam McBurney/PA)
DUP’s Edwin Poots (Liam McBurney/PA)

The MLA did not directly answer questions on his future plans for the company.

Mr McCrossan, the party's education spokesperson, has listed a half share in White Strand Investments Limited, a hospitality business. He listed remuneration of between £5,001 - £10,000 in 2021-22, expected to rise to between £10,001 - £15,000 in 2022-23. 

The MLA worked approximately ten hours per week in the financial year to the end of March 2022. The other director of the company, the owner of the Railway Bar in Strabane, is Ryan Dolan, the singer who represented Ireland in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.

Mr Dolan is also a director of several other companies, along with members of his family. The Dolan family run the Travellers' Rest complex on the border.

Ulster Unionist MLA Andy Allen. Picture by Hugh Russell
Ulster Unionist MLA Andy Allen. Picture by Hugh Russell

MLAs are currently not sitting in the Assembly but continue to operate in their constituencies. Their pay was cut by 27.5% to approximately £37,000 a year.

All representatives continue to claim expenses, in total £10.3m in 2022/23. The DUP's Edwin Poots claimed the most, just over £138,000 followed the UUP's Andy Allen on £137,000 then Mr McCrossan on close to £129,000.