Cllr Michael Savage has been selected to fill the vacancy in Newry City left by outgoing Cllr Kevin McAteer on Newry, Mourne and Down Council

Mr Savage said he is delighted to have the opportunity to represent local people and will be a fierce advocate for their rights. Speaking after his selection, he said: “It’s an honour to be selected to represent the people of Newry on the Council. I have a strong background in local politics and I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to step up and represent the people of our City.

“This is a critical time in our politics. The threat of Brexit will have profound consequences across the North but nowhere more than in communities that have benefitted so much from a border open for trade and free movement like ours.

“I care passionately about creating a future for our talented young people and I see job creation as a key issue in our community. We have a young population for whom we want to create good jobs so that we no longer export our best asset.

“I will be an outspoken voice passionately defending the interests of the people of Newry. Whether it’s defending our health services, improving our rail links or fighting a hard Brexit, there’s a lot to fight for here and I intend to be on the front line.

“I again want to thank party members for their support and I’m looking forward to getting down to work.”

Cllr Michael Savage
Cllr Michael Savage

On one of his first engagements Councillor Savage attended the recent Carrivemaclone Fun Day and pledged his support for Carrivemaclone Community Association's plans for a new centre and play area.

Local children were entertained with bouncy castles, pony and trap rides, a mobile animal farm and a host of other activities.

The Association, chaired by local woman Mary McCamley, runs the event every year and is now focusing on realising plans for a Community Centre and new state of the art play area for the people of Carrivemaclone.

Cllr Savage said: "Mary and her team of volunteers do excellent work for the people of Carrivemaclone and have kept the children of the area entertained throughout the summer.

"The Association has ambitious plans for a Community Centre and new play park facility in the area and I intend to give this scheme my full support as a new councillor who lives in the area. The people of Carrivemaclone deserve this facility."

Mrs McCamley said: "We have worked hard to get this project off the ground and we welcome the support from Councillor Savage. It is great to have him with us today in his first week as a new councillor and it is great to have a councillor from the area who understands the needs of the people of Carrivemaclone."