Charley O’Kane back in politics

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A former Ballymoney councillor is stepping out of the political wilderness in a bid to win a seat on the new super council.

Dunloy man Charley O’Kane says his move has been prompted by disaffection for the current crop of politicians and says he has received overwhelming support for his decison.

“I have been had a great deal of backing from people in Dunloy and in other nationalist areas and I think the time is ripe for change. I will mount a vigorous campaign and hope that the people will trust in my dedication and commitment to the job,” he said.

Mr O’Kane ruffled a few feathers when he represented the Bann Valley area in the 80’s and 90’s before losing his seat to Sinn Fein.

He famously rattled Ulster Unionist representatives, during his first election campaign by calling on them to “brush the dust off the seat because I’m coming through.”

Mr O’Kane says he will adopt that same spirit of approach to his election campaign before voting takes place in May of next year.

“I believe that I can take votes in local villages as well as in Ballymoney and certainly enough to beat my main rivals. It will not be an easy challenge but politics doesn’t always treat you kindly.

I will work along with my party to ensure that we get a positive message out to voters.

Meanwhile, the DUP have selected the head of the Independent Orange Order, Alan McLean, as the replacement for Mervyn Storey on Ballymoney Borough Council.

The selection process was decided by a number of top DUP members and Mr McLean saw off his rivals to take up his new career in politics.

Anne Morrison Smyth, well-known in Ulster Scots circles, was a leading runner and will be disappointed that she did not gain party approval on this occasion.

Others to have lost out were Johnny Wallace, Hugh Elliott, well-known in Royal British Legion circles, and Brian Kelly, the former journalist.


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