The Ulster Unionist Assembly member for Newry & Armagh, Danny Kennedy MLA, has paid tribute to Party colleagues in Local Government who are standing down as a result of the impending reorganisation of Councils in the area.
Mr Kennedy paid warm tribute to colleagues retiring in both the Armagh City & District and Newry & Mourne District Councils, where he himself had previously served for 25 years.
In relation to Armagh City & District, Mr Kennedy thanked Cllrs Sylvia McRoberts, Robert Turner (both former Mayors), the current Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Joy Rollston and Cllr. Mavis Eagle for "their dedicated and distinguished service to the ratepayers over a considerable period of time". Mr Kennedy said his colleagues could look back with considerable pride at the many things they had achieved for their constituents and the wider electorate of Armagh City & District.
Mr Kennedy also paid tribute to the work of already retired or deceased colleagues who had served on both Councils since they were established in 1973, and said their contribution too had been enormous, especially in the extremely difficult period of The Troubles. He said,
“We must never forget the debt we owe to those whose service brought with it great risk and sacrifice, as exemplified by Charles Armstrong, who as Chairman of Armagh District Council was cruelly murdered by IRA terrorists as he left the Council offices on Monday 14th November 1983.
“I have no doubt that my Party colleagues in the new Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Council will continue to build on the excellent foundations of the previous Council under the expert leadership of Cllr Jim Speers.”
In relation to Newry & Mourne District Council, Mr Kennedy paid a warm and fulsome tribute to his Party colleague Cllr Andy Moffett who is standing down, having been first elected in 1977. Mr Kennedy said that, on a personal level, he would always be very grateful to Cllr Moffett for his guidance and help throughout his own political career and especially in his time as a member of NMDC.
Mr Kennedy said
"Andy Moffett gave leadership and help to the entire community in South Armagh regardless of class, creed or religion. He discharged his duties with both common sense and good humour in a distinguished career in Local Government and I wish him well as he steps down from his elected position. I have no doubt Cllr David Taylor will continue to follow the fine example and high standard set by Andy Moffett."