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Down GAA Star Joins SDLP Council Candidates
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THE SDLP has unveiled their candidates for the upcoming local government elections to the new super Council of Newry, Mourne and Down.

At the selection convention held in the Downshire Arms in Hilltown on Sunday 23 March 2014, four candidates were selected to fight the council election. And Shane King, a surprise announcement, was selected by members.  Shane is 38 years of age and married to Elizabeth with 5 kids (4 boys and 1 girl) living in Castlewellan. He is a Fermanagh native from Lisnaskea who left home for University twenty years ago and just never made it back.  He is probably best known in Gaelic Football circles having competed at inter-county level playing for Bryansford for more than a decade and wearing the Red and Black.

At the SDLP selection convention in the Downshire Arms in Hiltown were, front row, candidates Cllrs Laura Devlin and Brian Quinn with South Down MP Margaret Ritchie, Back Row, candidates Shane King and Mark Murnin with South Down MLA SŽan Rogers.

At the SDLP selection convention in the Downshire Arms in Hiltown were, front row, candidates Cllrs Laura Devlin and Brian Quinn with South Down MP Margaret Ritchie, Back Row, candidates Shane King and Mark Murnin with South Down MLA SŽan Rogers.

He is keen in promoting all things Irish including sport, language, music and dance in a non-threatening celebration of Irish Nationalism. Shane has worked very hard within cross community projects through the medium of sport.  He is from mixed religion parents so always had an awareness of balance, understanding and tolerance towards both traditions.

Shane hopes to continue the work of the SDLP at a grass roots level in improving and enhancing social needs within the community.

Shane said: “It is a privilege to be selected by the party to contest the local government elections this May in the Slieve Croob area. I am passionate about my area and am delighted to be following in the footsteps of the Eamonn ONeill’s of this world who gave so much for the betterment of the community. I will endeavour to continue their good work.”

Mark Murnin was also selected to represent the party in the northern part of Slieve Croob.

Mark is a Ballynahinch businessman and feels he is carrying on the work of his late grandfather Eddie Murnin who was treasurer of his local branch and campaigned on behalf of the rural and farming communities. Mark who is also chairman of the Drumaness SDLP branch said: “I am looking forward to being able to represent the people of the newly formed ward of Slieve Croob at this very important time in local politics.”

Party members went on to select sitting Councillors Laura Devlin and Brian Quinn to contest the Mournes District Electoral Area. Laura was co-opted onto Down Council in December with the departure of veteran politician Eamonn ONeill who had represented the Newcastle DEA for 36 years.  Since taking up her seat in Council, Laura has immersed herself in local issues. Laura also works for Seán Rogers MLA at his Newcastle office on a full-time basis so comes from a strong constituency work background and is making a name for herself in the area for providing this first class service.

Cllr Brian Quinn said: “Since being seconded to Council following the departure of Seán Rogers MLA, I have worked hard on behalf of the people of the Mournes as part of Team SDLP on a range of issues. I welcome the challenge of working for the people on both sides of our famous mountain range and with your support I pledge to continue this work to the best of my ability by being a strong voice on behalf of the people of the Mournes.”