Newry and Armagh: SDLP ‘incredibly naive’ to expect two seats
Former GAA star Justin McNulty admits party got it wrong
NEWRY AND ARMAGH CANDIDATES: Paul Berry (Ind); Cathal Boylan (Sinn Féin); Emmet Crossan (CISTA); Megan Fearon (Sinn Féin); William Irwin (DUP); Danny Kennedy (UUP); Alan Love (UKIP); Martin McAllister (Ind); Karen McKevitt (SDLP); Justin McNulty (SDLP); Conor Murphy (Sinn Féin); Sam Nicholson (UUP); Craig Weir (Alliance); Michael Waters (Greens).
Former All-Ireland GAA winner Justin McNulty said the party got it wrong and acknowledged it was a moment tinged with sadness as he celebrated his own election.
Karen McKevitt moved from South Down to contest the seat but failed by quite a margin.
“We thought we were in the hunt, maybe naively and foolishly so, with hindsight we were incredibly naive to think that we could get two seats,” Mr McNulty said.
Newry and Armagh factfile
How the constituency compares
Level: medium. Rank: 12 of 18
Levels of poor health
Level: medium. Rank: 7 of 18
The Mullaghbawn sportsman won an All-Ireland title with Armagh in 2002. He ended a decade-long career with Armagh’s senior footballers in 2005 and has since managed a number of clubs and county teams, most notably Laois, where he was in charge for three years up to 2013.
He said he was determined to get things moving at Stormont – including the construction of a new and expanded GAA stadium at Casement Park in west Belfast.
Mr McNulty said he was determined to improve the quality of the roads around Armagh City and reinstate the rail link with Portadown.
One wag suggested he could share a lift to Stormont with Danny Kennedy, the Bessbrook Ulster Unionist, after his spell as Regional Development Minister. Mr Kennedy will be a heavyweight presence in the UUP’s team at Stormont.