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Second Sinn Féin member deselected

(William Graham, Irish News)

Newry and Armagh assembly member Patricia O'Rawe has become the second Sinn Féin politician in the constituency to be deselected – but this local decision may be overturned by the party ard comhairle.

It is understood that the Sinn Féin leadership regard Mrs O'Rawe as a hardworking assembly member and there is considerable surprise among the senior ranks that she has not been selected to contest the March election.

An election convention was held in Mullaghbawn in south Armagh on Monday night and both Davy Hyland and Mrs O'Rawe, pictured, were deselected.

The only one of the sitting MLAs chosen to go forward was Conor Murphy MP.

Sinn Féin in Newry and in Belfast have refused to give the names of those selected but it is understood that Michael Brady is one of the candidates.

Earlier this week Mr Hyland said he was unhappy about his deselection and was considering standing in the area as an independent.

Mr Hyland said that he had been experiencing some differences within Sinn Féin and he believed there was not enough debate on the policing issue.

Yesterday (Wednesday) there was no immediate comment from Mrs O'Rawe about her deselection or any indications as to the reasoning behind the local election convention decision.

Some sources inside Sinn Féin did however express their surprise at the decision and pointed to Mrs O'Rawe's experience and work profile in the party.

The names of those selected at the south Armagh convention will now go forward to the party's Ard Comhairle sometime next month.

In Mrs O'Rawe's case there is now a clear possibility that her local deselection may be challenged by the Sinn Féin ruling executive.

December 22, 2006

This article appeared first in the December 21, 2006 edition of the Irish News.

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