South Down Sinn Fein’s Michael Rice has been co-opted onto Newry, Mourne & Down Council to replace Cllr Sean Doran.
The former Mournes Councillor sadly passed away in November, having represented the people of Mourne for more than a decade.
Having lived all his life in Attical, and educated at St Louis in Kilkeel, Michael Rice (22 years old) is currently completing a Masters in Law at Queens University, Belfast.
A playing member with Attical GAC, Michael has also represented Down GAA at all age groups from U14 to U20.
A Sinn Féin activist since he was 16 years old, Michael is the current Chairperson of Sinn Féin in the Mournes, and a former Chairperson of South Down Ógra Sinn Féin.
Mr Rice said:
“I am honoured to have been nominated by my peers in South Down to take on this role. It’s a development obviously shrouded in deep sadness at the loss of our lifelong friend and comrade Sean Doran; but I am determined to pick up where he left off, and represent the people of Mourne to the best of my ability.
“Sean stretched himself immeasurably in the line of his work, not just physically but symbolically across the political divide in order to deliver results for everybody in our community. I couldn’t ask for a better template for success.”
Sinead Ennis MLA has welcomed Mr Rice’s co-option, saying that the young law student has “shown himself to be both articulate, and thoughtful in how he has engaged with others, and I have no doubt Michael has a bright future ahead of him.”
South Down MP Chris Hazzard added:
“I have known Michael now for quite some time, and he has always impressed me greatly as a fierce advocate for the people of the Mournes, and a tireless republican activist across South Down.
“Sean Doran is irreplaceable, and we wouldn’t attempt to find somebody to walk in Sean’s shoes; but in young Michael Rice we believe we have a worthy successor who will build on Sean’s legacy with great professionalism and commitment into the future.”