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Quinn resigns as SDLP Councillor

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Quinn resigns as SDLP Councillor thumbnailCllr Tony Quinn.

MID-ULSTER SDLP Councillor Tony Quinn has announced his shock resignation from the party amidst claims the party political system has become "self-seeking and untrustworthy".

In a letter to party headquarters at the weekend, Cllr Quinn, who was first elected to Cookstown District Council in 2005, was highly critical of the political system and stated his intention to continue as an independent Councillor in Mid-Ulster.

Stated Cllr Quinn in his letter of resignation: "It is with a long and measured consideration that I compose this letter and resign from the SDLP, a political party that I have belonged to for over 12 years. A political party that I have served in as an elected representative for my local community and helped to bring about a better quality of life for my constituents.

“It is however becoming more and more difficult to serve as a credible Councillor within a political system that is viewed by the majority of the community as self-seeking and untrustworthy."

Stated Cllr Quinn: "Indeed, it is widely felt that unity of the North is as distant an ideology as unity of the whole island.

“My priority as an elected representative has always been the needs of my local community and the greatest need for the community at the moment, I believe, is credible and trustworthy politics that unites and not divides.

“Whether we accept it or not, election after election the northern political parties are being viewed as contributing causes in the division of our communities and so I feel strongly that as an independent I can offer genuine representation across the sectarian divide."

Concluded Cllr Quinn: "I would like to thank those within the SDLP leadership and the party members both past and present who I have known and respected and wish them all the best in the future."

Tony Quinn was first elected as an SDLP representative to Cookstown District Council in 2005, taking a seat from Sinn Fein.

He became Chairman of the Council in 2009/10 and 2012/13 and is currently chair of the Policing and Community Safety Partnership, having been appointed to the Partnership in 2003.

Cllr Quinn held his seat comfortably in the 2011 Local Government Election and again in 2015, as Cookstown was absorbed into the new Mid-Ulster supercouncil. He is the fourth councillor in Tyrone to resign from the SDLP in the past year and it leaves the SDLP with just five representatives on the 40-seat Mid-Ulster District Council.

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