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Green Party Election Candidates Selected
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LOCAL men Mark McCormick and John Hardy have been selected at the AGM of the South Down Green Party to contest  the upcoming local elections to Down District Council in Ballynahinch and Newcastle along with sitting Downpatrick Councillor Cadogan Enright, a former South Down Westminster candidate.

Mark McCormick was selected to run for the Ballynahinch Electoral Area which includes Drumaness, Seaforde, Clough, Loughinisland and Spa, as well as Ballynahinch town. Mark McCormick was nominated by Downpatrick/Lecale Green Party Councillor  Cadogan Enright and seconded Pat Ward of Drumaness.

John Hardy was selected for the Newcastle and Castlewellan area which also includes Dundrum and Kilcoo. John Hardy was nominated by retired Green Party Councillor Bill Corry and seconded by Councillor Cadogan Enright.

Pictured at the South Down Green Party election convention were Pat Ward, Barbara Haig, Mark McCormick Ballynahinch), Edele Corry, John Hardy (Newcastle), Bill Corry and Down District Councilor Cadogan Enright.

Mark McCormick joined the Green Party in 2006 following his concerns about pollution in local rivers around the Down District. Since he joined the Green Party he has become one of the most active young people engaged in local politics in the Down District.

Mark has worked on a number of local campaigns such as  the Down Community Health Committee where he is part of the team which runs and maintains the Down Community Health Committee’s Facebook campaign page with over 2000 members. He is also active in the Down District Fairtrade Committee where he has visited schools, community groups and youth groups giving talks about Fairtrade and its importance both locally and internationally. He has campaigned on a wide range of issues such such as the repeated sewage run-off into the Ballynahinch River.

John Hardy joined the Green Party in 2005, and has been working back in Down District for several years mostly for renewable energy focused companies since finishing his post-graduate Law degree.

John has been very active in community organisations, especially in Newcastle where he is the Chairperson of the Tollymore Sustainable Community Association and a committee member of the Community Planning Newcastle group, as well as working to support the Down Community Health Committee. As part of the organisation’s work, he has been involved in planning issues, opening up green lanes and spaces for community use, meeting with local officials regarding infrastructure issues and helping to set up a Community Supported Agriculture scheme.

Both candidates were unanimously adopted by all 18 members present and Councillor Cadogan Enright applauded their contribution to ‘green’ issues saying, “John Hardy and Mark McCormick have been very active in their local communities the past few years and the Green Party is very lucky to have intelligent, well educated young men with such a strong social awareness to run as its candidates in the upcoming elections.”

A second selection convention is expected in February to deal with a number of other nominations for the Annalong-Kilkeel area and to find a replacement for  retiring Green Party Councillor  Ciaran Mussen in the Crotlieve constituency (Newry and Mourne District Council).

Former Westminster Candidate for Strangford Barbara Haig was initially going to stand in the Rowallane constituency but due to health reasons had to decline her nomination. The Rowallane selection convention will be re-held along with the Annalong and Crotlieve selection conventions.