Hamilton to run again for Alliance at council poll

Harry Hamilton.  INLM4910-601con
Harry Hamilton. INLM4910-601con

The Alliance Party has chosen five of its seven candidates to fight the local government elections in May to the new so-called super council, covering Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon.

So far, candidates have been chosen for the Lurgan, Craigavon and Portadown wards which cover mainly the existing Craigavon Borough Council, while the other two have been settled in the Banbridge area. Still to come are the two in the Armagh area.

Best known among the seven is Harry Hamilton (then UUP), who gave MP David Simpson (DUP) a run for his money in the 2010 Westminster poll – 10,639 against Simpson’s 14,000 – and recorded the highest vote for the Ulster Unionists in any of the 18 Northern Ireland constituencies.

The UUP then dropped him for selection to the Assembly in 2011 and he joined Alliance, gaining 1,979 first preferences, but failing in the race for Stormont.

Mr Hamilton, an executive in a leading food company, will contest the new Lagan River area, which includes Waringstown and part of Dromore.

Contesting in Portadown is student Peter Giffen, while Queen’s University graduate Pater Lavery is going in Lurgan. John Cleland, a Lurgan candidate in the 2011 council election, will be the hopeful in Central Craigavon this time.

The Banbridge candidate is Sheila McQuaid, a respected member of Banbridge District Council, completing the five already chosen.

Two more have still to be confirmed – in the Cusher Ward and in Armagh City Ward.

Sitting councilllor Conrad Dixon is not seeking re-election.

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