As expected Former Armagh All Ireland winning player Justin McNulty from Mullaghbawn has been selected as the next SDLP candidate for the Newry and Armagh seat at Westminster. 

Justin McNulty holds the Sam Maguire aloft in 2002. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Justin McNulty holds the Sam Maguire aloft in 2002. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

Justin played for the Armagh Senior team from 1995 to 2005 and won his All Ireland Medal against Kerry in 2002.

His father Joe a former teacher at St Paul’s High School was a founding member of the SDLP and sat on the first Newry civil rights committee.

Veteran SDLP politician Seamus Mallon formally proposed Justin as the candidate at the SDLP selection convention in Armagh tonight.

In a video on Twitter Justin said “I am thrilled to have been selected by the SDLP to run the Westminster race. The 200 plus delegates brought an electrifying atmosphere to the room this evening. I am very confident that energy and that powerful force can be used to propel my campaign.”

The Newry and Armagh seat was originally held by Ulster Unionist Jim Nicholson and has been in Nationalist hands since 1986. The SDLP’s Seamus Mallon held it from 1986 till 2005 and Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy has held it from then till present but he will not be contesting the post in May. 

Mickey Brady has already been named as the Sinn Fein candidate this time around and the seat that attracted over 26,000 votes for the SDLP at the height of their popularity and almost 21,000 for Sinn Fein at their peak, will certainly be a fixture to watch. 

Danny Kennedy has been selected as the Ulster Unionist candidate and other candidates have still to be announced.

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