Seamus Close to leave politics…

Seamus Close is finally leaving politics after 33 years and 20 elections. His seat in Lagan Valley was never a strong Alliance area, and it is thought that much of his vote was at one time a highly personal one. Trevor Lunn, the current mayor of Lisburn is an obvious successor, and his colleague on Lisburn Betty Campbell, whose home territory is in the rural south of the council area around Dromara and Finis, is another possible contender.

Anorak fact: By the time Lisburn Council goes into abeyance in or around 2009, Seamus Close will have been the only one of only two councillors to have served the full length of the Council itself. Update: Ivan Davis of the UUP is the other one… Secondary factoid: Close, Oliver Napier and Sean Neeson were all students at St Malachi’s College.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty