Councillor Johnny McCarthy joins SDLP
Lisburn and Castlereagh councillor Johnny McCarthy has joined the SDLP, becoming the party’s fourth public representative on the council. Cllr McCarthy was elected at the last local government council as NI21’s sole local government representative and became Deputy Leader shortly afterwards. He departed from NI21 last year.
Cllr McCarthy said:
'I believe Northern Ireland must and will move forward under the new leadership of Colum Eastwood and the reinvigorated group of young people within the party. I believe the SDLP can put the failed politics of the past behind us and deliver the change we all need. I became involved in politics because I believed we needed new ideas, new energy and new politics. The SDLP has the experience of revolutionising our politics and it is time for us to grasp the initiative, and revolutionise this society once more ”
Cllr McCarthy, who is a full-time public representative, added: “I will continue to represent the people of Lisburn and the wider council area and look forward to working closely with my SDLP colleagues on the council.
Speaking following the announcement, SDLP Leader and Foyle MLA Colum Eastwood said:
“People like Johnny McCarthy get into politics to change society and the lives of the people they represent. All of us in the SDLP want to see Northern Ireland work for all who live here, and an end to sectarian-based tit-for-tat politics. I am delighted to welcome Johnny to the party and I know he’ll play a key role both in Lisburn & Castlreagh and across Northern Ireland.
“Johnny knows, as I do, that the way forward is in non-sectarian politics, where people make good on commitments and work together to build a better society. He is an impressive public representative and I expect him to become a valued member of our team. We want to see other smart people with smart ideas also joining us.”
Lagan Valley Assembly candidate Councillor Pat Catney said:
"I'd like to say a few words about Cllr McCarthy who as you know has officially joined the SDLP.
Johnny went to primary school with my children, I've known him for a long time and it's great to see him grow into the young, progressive man that he is today.
I want to welcome Johnny to the party. He will bring a new and exciting dynamic to the SDLP in Lisburn and we're very pleased to welcome him into the party and to see the things he will achieve in Lagan Valley for many years to come."