Tandragee man Arthur Reid continues as chairman of the town’s Ulster Unionist Party branch, having been re-elected at the annual meeting in Cargan’s Hall recently.
The mood of the meeting reflected that Northern Ireland is again on the cusp of a Westminster election year. Two local candidates addressed the meeting – DRD Minister Danny Kennedy who is fighting in Newry and Armagh and Jo-Anne Dobson from neighbouring Upper Bann.
The other main officer bearers in the branch are Jim Speers, president; vice-chairman Jim Clayton; secretary John Moore; and treasurer Miriam Meredith.
Arthur Reid reflected on what he termed a very busy and positive year for the UUP both locally and provincewide.
Mr Kennedy claimed he was the only unionist who could win the Newry-Armagh seat, and if elected, the people would have a voice in the House of Commons for the first time since 2005.
Jim Nicholson (UUP) was the first incumbent in 1983, Seamus Mallon was elected in 1986 and held the seat until Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy took over in 2005. But he never entered the House of Commons under party policy.
Mrs Dobson, MLA for Upper Bann, updated the meeting on her long-running campaign to change the law on organ donation “so that more people will get a chance of life”.
She added she would continue to challenge the Health Minister on issues such as ensuring that cancer drugs “are properly available to those who need them”.