James Henry tops poll in Ballymena while SDLP fend off Sinn Féin challenge; TUV win seat and Alliance get in; Independent Rodney Quigley is voted in but DUP lose one of their three seats; Stephen Nicholl is out

Councillor James Henry.

Independent councillor James Henry topped the poll in the Ballymena electoral area and has been elected to Mid & East Antrim Borough Council.

The councillor was re-elected with 872 first preference votes and was the only candidate to pass the quota of 870 on the first count.

Mr Henry, who is well-known through his famiy firm, James Henry Funeral Services, in Ballymena, was elected despite having a relatively low media profile and he is not known for putting up election posters.

There are seven seats in the Ballymena electoral area.

The Ballymena councillors at the end of the last council term were: Audrey Wales, John Carson and Reuben Glover (all DUP); Independent James Henry, Stephen Nicholl (UUP); Donna Anderson (Independent) and Declan O’Loan (SDLP).

This time round, Eugene Reid of the SDLP was voted in when votes were transferred on Saturday morning.

He replaced long-standing party representative Declan O’Loan who stood down as a councillor.

Sinn Féin’s Patrice Hardy, who had previously been a councillor in the Bannside area and had moved to Ballymena t seek re-election, failed in her quest.

Even before the official news came through she tweeted: “I took a risk. Republicans take risks. It didn’t pay off this time but we broke new ground in Ballymena. I worked hard to be a strong voice & stand up for rights in MEA council. I’ll continue to be a strong voice for republicanism.Thank you to everyone who put their faith in me.”

Matthew Armstrong (TUV), who is well known in local football circles, was elected in Ballymena.

He tweeted: “What an honour, elected to serve the good people of Ballymena. Delighted!”

TUV leader Jim Allister congratulates Matthew Armstrong on winning a seat for the party in Ballymena.

 

TUV leader Jim Allister tweeted: “Pleased to note strong tuv vote across 3 Ballymena DEAs: tuv 5762; uup 3601; dup 7432.”

DUP candidate William Logan failed to gain a seat.

Patricia O’Lynn (Alliance) was elected.

She tweeted: “So overwhelmed and delighted not to mention proud of our team!”

Patricia O’Lynn (left) is pictured with former councillor Jayne Dunlop and party MLA Stewart Dickson.

 

Ulster Unionist councillor Stephen Nicholl, who works in the constituency office of party leader and North Antrim MLA Robin Swann in Ballymena, lost his seat.

DUP duo Audrey Wales and John Carson have retained their seats but the party lost another seat – that of Reuben Glover.

Independent Rodney Quigley has been elected to the council.

Rodney Quigley.

 

Rodney Quigley said on social media: “To say I’m over the moon is an understatement…Thanks to everyone who voted for me and supported me through my campaign….time to relax for a few hours now..it’ll take a while to come down off cloud number 9.”

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