Irwin selected to stand again for Assembly vote

William Irwin with DUP leader Arlene Foster
William Irwin with DUP leader Arlene Foster

William Irwin has been unanimously selected by the DUP to contest the Assembly election on March 2.

Mr Iwin, who has been an MLA since first elected in 2007, said he is “fully prepared” and not “scared or threatened” by Sinn Fein.

He reiterated his support for party leader Arlene Foster, saying she has proven herself to be “a strong leader over the past year and particularly in recent weeks in the face of what is now a very clear strategy by Sinn Fein to capitalise on instability for their own electoral interests”.

He said, “It is very clear that for Sinn Fein the issue is less about any renewables scheme and more about their own party supporters and their failed united Ireland dream.

“I certainly detect a very clear attempt by Sinn Fein to redraw the political map in Northern Ireland especially as it is only a few months after the previous vote, a vote which didn’t go their way.

“I am ready again to put my record of hard work, representation and delivery to the people of Newry & Armagh and I will continue to work to maintain Northern Ireland as an integral part of the United Kingdom.

“I am also passionately pro-life and firmly believe in the sanctity of marriage expressly between one man and one woman and I will continue to uphold these values.”

Mr Irwin added, “Sinn Fein have very clearly not been getting their own way due to strong DUP leadership and their current tantrum has been thrown to bring the British Government into a talks process where their pet projects and of course the realities of Brexit could be raised.

“Sinn Fein are clearly feeling threatened by Brexit and this current impasse is the outplaying of that discomfort at the possibility.”