SDLP deselect sitting MLA in West Tyrone

Looks like Sinn Fein is not the only one engaged deselecting, though this looks like a genuine on-the-ground fight, rather than a prearranged outcome that many suspect was the case in Newry and Armagh. The SDLP MLA for West Tyrone, Eugene McMenamin, has been de-selected at a meeting at the Mellon Country Inn last night, midway between Omagh and Strabane. Going forward is the Omagh based Dr. Josephine Dehan and Cllr Seamus Shiels from Mid -Tyrone, both received 42 votes at the selection. McMenamin received 28 votes.

:We understand that, similarly to Sinn Fein, the selection process requires any local decision to be ratified by the party executive. In other words (as with Pat O’Rawe) there’s a chance that McMenamin may be reinstated as a candidate.Eugene McMenamin’s election agent was the former SDLP vice-chair Eddie Espie, now resigned. Heavy recruiting by both camps in recent days has lead to the unusual fight within the two rival camps for control of the SDLP seat.

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