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South Down MLA Ruane to step down

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

South Down MLA Ruane to step down thumbnailSINN Fein's Caitríona Ruane (centre) will not contest the election but will be the election agent for Sinead Ennis. Also standing for Sinn Fein will be Chris Hazzard MLA.

SOUTH Down MLA Caitríona Ruane will not be putting her name forward for selection during the next Assembly election.

It was announced during Sunday's selection meeting, that the two Sinn Fein candidates that will stand in South Down will be current MLA Chris Hazzard and Newry, Mourne and Down councillor Sinead Ennis.

Ms Ruane, who has represented South Down for 14 years, said it was an "honour" to represent the constituency.

“Over the years I have been involved in assisting the growth and development of the peace process to create a better society for all our citizens," she said.

“During that time I have had the pleasure of serving as Education Minister, abolishing the eleven plus exam, tackling underachievement, improving educational attainment and excellence for all, investing in the Irish medium sector and delivering the largest school building programme in decades.

“I was also proud to promote equality issues in the Assembly at every opportunity, equality for the LGBT community, for Irish language speakers and for women.

“As a lifelong feminist I was honoured to have been selected twice by all parties to chair the Assembly's women's caucus. 

“I was also privileged to serve as Principal Deputy Speaker of the Assembly."

Ms Ruane confirmed that she will be acting as an election agent in the upcoming elections and wished to thank all of the people of South Down for their support over the years.

“I want to thank all of the people of South Down and the party in the area for the support and trust they have shown me over the years and I look forward to the continued growth of Sinn Féin in the area," added Ms Ruane.

“I also want to thank my family, my husband Brian, children Eimear and Deirdre and my grandchild, Sé, for the love and support they have given me over the years."

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