Alliance Reveal Surprise Candidate For Newcastle

Patrick Clarke, a former local party activist for the SDLP in the Dundrum area, will be standing for Down District Council in the Newcastle Electoral Area which includes Dundrum and Castlewellan, as well as the town of Newcastle. Patrick is a Queen’s University law graduate and is well known in the area, as he lives in Dundrum and worked in Newcastle for a period of ten years. He has built up a very good relationship with neighbours, people, and business proprietors, as well as sporting, voluntary, and community groups. An active campaigner, Patrick engages in various local community issues. He is secretary of Dundrum Village Association,  a co-ordinator of Dundrum Village Neighbourhood Watch, and chairperson of Dundrum Business Association, a recently formed group to promote tourism and economic regeneration within Dundrum village. He has been involved in a range of campaigns including the fight for services at Downe Hospital, the library HQ closure in Ballynahinch, river protection, economic development, tourism and many local issues in the area. [caption id="attachment_21426" align="alignleft" width="334" caption="Patrick Clarke, the Alliance local government candidate for the Newcastle electoral area."][/caption] In a statement explaining why he was standing as Alliance candidate for the Newcastle area, Mr Clarke said, “I believe in working towards a shared future for all communities through the breaking down of social and political barriers that still presently exist in our society through segregated housing, our two-tier education system, segregated sporting, recreational and community facilities, and the flying of sectarian flags, etc. “I am of the clear view that everyone, irrespective of their political, religious or other opinion, nationality or race deserves the same equality. “I have worked towards building better cross-community relations and I would like to be given the opportunity in the near future of publicly serving all of the people as an elected representative in my area. “Being in politics to me is about working for all of the people, and I have always endeavoured to work for all of the people, championing the rights of the socially excluded, ethnic minorities, the disabled, and the elderly.” ]]>