Irish News reveals O’Loan is far from isolated on unity call

Today’s Irish News revealed that Declan O’Loan wasn’t on a solo run with his remarks on Nationalist Unity and enjoys sizeable support for his comments across the SDLP.

The paper noted:

Despite members of his North Antrim constituency giving him their full support, Mr O’Loan was forced to retract the statement

It also states:

However, The Irish News has learned that Mr O’Loan received unanimous support from senior grassroots members and councillors at his Ballymena constituency office last Thursday

It notes around 20 people attended the meeting where his thoughts were discussed, including Moyle Councillors.

SDLP Councillor Catherine McCambridge was quoted as giving her backing to O’Loan following the story breaking and insisting the SDLP needed to ‘move on’ adding the idea of nationalist unity was ‘worthwhile pursuing in the longterm’.

Cllr Orla Black was also quoted as saying O’Loan and grassroots members of the SDLP were all ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’ and ‘we want to start discussions’

As yet neither of these Councillors or other party members have been publicly censured like O’Loan.