In Short


A round-up of today's other stories in brief

David McWilliams rules out running for election

Journalist and economist David McWilliams has ruled out standing in the general election although he believes people are crying out for an alternative to the mainstream political parties, reports Stephen Collins

When asked by The Irish Timesyesterday to comment on reports that he intended to stand, he said it was “not true”.

“I would make a brutal politician because I couldn’t fix drains or get involved in the kind of stuff that politicians do,” but he added: “My sense is that there is a huge appetite for change. Outside Leinster House people want real change but standing for the Dáil is not really for me.”

Best-selling author and teacher ATQ Stewart dies in Belfast

The death has been announced in Belfast of historian, author, teacher and academic ATQ Stewart, writes Dan Keenan

Tony Stewart was formerly a history teacher at Belfast Royal Academy and a lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast, reading in the School of History and Anthropology. He was also a contributor to The Irish Times. He was also a best-selling authors with a string of well-known titles to his credit.

These include The Ulster Crisis (1969); his study of the arrival of the Ulster Volunteer Force for which he is perhaps best known. He authored The Narrow Ground (1977) and A Deeper Silence (1993) as well as The Shape of Irish History (2001). Stewart also worked as a consultant with the BBC and Thames TV and presented The Divided Kingdom for Channel 4.

He wrote widely, but was especially interested in the United Irishmen and the 1798 rebellion.

He died on Friday after a long illness.

Deputy mayor quits UUP for DUP

The Ulster Unionists have suffered another resignation from a key figure in local government, writes Dan Keenan. Castlereagh deputy mayor David Drysdale has quit the party for the DUP claiming his former party is without direction and has become “a loose confederation of warring factions”.

In his resignation letter, released last night, he said only the DUP was working to move the North forward.

“I got involved in politics to help people and make the area I represent a better place. The UUP hasn’t the strategy, either in Castlereagh or anywhere else in Northern Ireland to deliver such change.”