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27/09/2021

Former SDLP leader Mark Durkan to contest European election for Fine Gael

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Former SDLP leader and MP for Foyle Mark Durkan is to contest the European Elections in May as a Fine Gael candidate in the Dublin constituency, it is being reported. The 58-year-old previously served as an SDLP MP in Westminster until he lost the Foyle seat in 2017 to Sinn Fein's Elisha McCallion.. Mr Durkan (pictured) will join former Tánaiste and Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald on the Fine Gael ticket. Mr Durkan told RTÉ News that he was first approached about running as a candidate by outgoing Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes. He said in his view the offer was Taoiseach Leo Varadkar following through on his promise that he wanted to ensure that Irish citizens in the North are not left behind by Brexit, not least in their standing as Irish citizens. Mr Durkan also said, if elected, he would continue to live in Derry, but would also have a very strong presence in Dubin and will run a full-time office there. He said "I know this is a big ask for the people of Dublin" and he hopes people they will have a wider national perspective, as well as their own city perspective. Mr Durkan said he would suspend his SDLP membership in order to run as a Fine Gael candidate.

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