Eastwood welcomes Wilson to SDLP fold

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has welcomed the addition of Ryan Wilson to the SDLP Council Group.

As exclusively revealed by the Antrim Guardian three weeks ago, Councillor Wilson will take up the seat vacated by shamed rep Brian Duffin in the Dunsilly DEA of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

Mr Duffin was convicted earlier this year of sexually assaulting a teenager in June 2016.

He stood down from the SDLP in the wake of the allegation but remained on the Council as an Independent Member.

But after his appeal against his conviction failed last month, he resigned his seat in the chamber.

Mr Eastwood said: “I am pleased to welcome Councillor Wilson to the SDLP Council group.

“Ryan has proven to be a dedicated activist within the party and his local community.

“I know he’ll play a key role in the South Antrim area.

“It is an exciting time to be in politics and I am confident Ryan will grasp the challenge with both hands.”

Councillor Wilson said: “I am delighted to have been co-opted to serve the people of Randalstown, Toome, Creggan and Parkgate, in what is an increasingly challenging time in politics.

“Alongside my colleagues in council, I intend to make rural job creation a focus during my tenure, as well as lobbying for more social housing to be built in South Antrim.

“Additionally, I will work to secure adequate funding for many excellent community, charitable and sporting organisations throughout the constituency.”

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