Council career spanning a quarter of a century draws to a close

June 15, 2010

By Brónagh Murphy

The Council career of one of Newry and Mourne District Council’s longest-serving councillors will come to an end tonight (Monday) when Danny Kennedy formally resigns his seat.

The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Councillor was first elected for the Fews Ward in 1985 and has successfully retained his seat at every subsequent election.  He served as Chairman of the Council in 1994/5.

Mr Kennedy says he will greatly miss his Council work, however, as an MLA, he will continue to represent the constituents of Newry and Armagh in Stormont.

Speaking as he prepared to step down from his Council role, Mr Kennedy reflected on his 25-year tenure

“I have enjoyed enormously my time on the Council and would pay tribute to the Council officials and staff for all their help and support to me over the years and their courtesy,” Mr Kennedy said.

“Political representation was not easy, especially in my early days on Newry and Mourne District Council as a Unionist representative – the ongoing violence and murder campaign was still in full force and there were a great many contentious debates at Council level.

“I believe I represented the people who elected me to the best of my ability, and although I gave no quarter in debate, I attempted to address issues in a fair minded manner. I hope that my opponents would concede that, even though I was not perhaps liked or always popular, I was at least respected.”

Mr Kennedy says one of the highlights of his time as Councillor was when Newry was awarded city status, as it was he who initially proposed that the Council explore such a possibility.

“I will greatly miss the Council and wish it well in the coming years which promise change and transformation. I would thank, remember and pay tribute to all those colleagues who served with me for all their hard work, support, understanding and patience,” he added.

Mr Kennedy will formally stand down at tonight’s Annual General Meeting of Newry and Mourne District Council.