Councillor of the week: Colin McGrath

Down District Council has got to be one of the richest cross party offerings (I suspect we may be back this way for another Councillor of the Week) on But this week, the spotlight has to go to the youthful SDLP Chair Colin McGrath. Not least for the fact that he’s being trimming his excellent video diary according to the feedback he’s been getting from constituents. Although my tip would be to keep it short as possible Colin! I particularly like the way he has extended the standard pages of the template and has pre-empted on the questions that many want to know the answer to by either are afraid, or don’t know who to ask. How much do you get as a local councillor? In an age of public cynicism, such a pre-emptive strike is very useful!

He’s got a page of embedded links to past video diaries. There’s a question on every page on whether Downpatrick should have a new Leisure Centre or not.

The news feed is good and regularly updated, giving the reader the feel that this councillor is definitely at home and contactable through the site. Although they could do with a little more of an informal introductions to them.

He’s also activated the photo gallery, although here I think he might look at some of the galleries of his council colleagues, for instance Mickey Coogan in Drumgooland, or this shot of Cadogan Enright by a heavily polluted river in Downpatrick. to look for greater constituency (and hopefully media) impacts.

Gradually we are seeing councillors extending the use of technology in their role as public representatives. In particular Colin’s use of the video diary demonstrates his capacity and willingness to do the thing that new technology allows him to do over and above anything else. And that’s to engage directly with the voters that matter to him, on the ground.


  • Ulsters my homeland

    He comes across as a really down to earth and sincere guy. The best of luck to him!

  • Congrats to Colin. A great example of the new generation of politicians in the North and a great guy- despite his dodgy taste in music.

    Doing a great job for both the party and the people of Down.

  • slug

    Agree with the others – he looks like exactly the sort of sensible, down to earth, new generation of countillors that we want to see enter local politics. Best of luck to him.

  • Ulsters my homeland

    …and he finished the piece with “bye, bye”. He’s destined for the Kilkeel borough hi, Ballymena haven’t a chance and Ballymoney are full of oul timers. Kilkeel it is!

  • Dewi

    Cool – shame no Irish Language stuff – but please don’t go on about it.

  • Nathan

    Hi, how’s tricks….fair duos to your ‘forward thinking’

  • FYI Colin is vice-chair of the SDLP, not chair.

  • slug

    With Belfast Stoop, Colin, that Haughey one from Armagh, Orla from the Glens, and Mark H Durkan from Derry, the SDLP has a cohort of promising young politicians on the way. Who said the SDLP were ageing?

  • Mick Fealty

    Sorry, I meant chair of Down Council rather than the SDLP.

  • nineteensixtyseven

    Well done, Colin. I’m enjoying the videos, keep it up.

  • New Yorker

    This young man is impressive. Bright, articulate and optimistic. He seems like a fellow who can get things done and has a public service ethos. There may be hope yet if there are more like him.

  • eh, why is he wearing a cork shirt?

  • Down Resident

    Well done Colin, great to see someone so young do so well in politics! The video blogs are great and the site is very informative!

    The people of this area know Colin is a good representative and as a young person I wish Colin every success in the future

  • Blogman

    I agree the SDLP seem to have a few bright young things that are making an impact in their local areas – Armagh, Lisburn, Moyle, Derry, Belfast and Down – impressive but not sure if the party profiles these people enough. We just came seeing the same old wrinkly faces on the telly and hearing them on the radio. The SDLP should be singing from the rooftops about these young ones

  • Impressed !

    Good work Colin !!! A rising star & just what we need in our politicians ! Even better that you belong to the best party out there !