Ex-nationalist mayor of Larne to stand as independent

Danny O'Connor
Danny O'Connor

Former SDLP mayor of Larne Danny O’Connor is to stand for election to the new Mid and East Antrim Council on an independent ticket.

Mr O’Connor, who was selected as the town’s first nationalist mayor back in 2006, will fight for a seat on the Coast Road district electoral area (DEA).

The 49-year-old, who lost his seat on the council at the election in 2011, told the Larne Times he no longer believed in the policies of his former party.

“I would not feel comfortable associating myself with any political party in Northern Ireland at present, and I have no problem going it alone,” he said.

However, due to mobility issues, the Larne man will be unable to canvass the electorate in the traditional way.

He added: “I have arthritis in my joints and have been on crutches for the past few years, so I will not be able to knock on very many doors.

“Also, as I am currently receiving ESA (Employment and Support Allowance), I will not have the money to make posters or leaflets for my campaign.

“I plan to make use of social media sites and word of mouth to get my message out.”

Mr O’Connor said that, if elected, he would “fight tooth and nail to ensure local people get their fair share under the new council”.

“Larne is being stripped of services and I don’t want to see it becoming a suburb of Ballymena,” he concluded.