I really was in the depths of despair.” Eyebrows were raised when the UUP opted for 24-year-old newcomer Alicia Clarke as Hussey’s replacement, over Chris Smyth, one of its councillors on Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.
Boyle and Mc Elduff are expected to sail through, just like last time, but it could be difficult for Mc Aleer after it took 11 recounts to get him across the line previously.
Despite Mc Anespy securing only 828 votes last year, she will still challenge Mc Aleer.
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His selection, and the decision to run just one candidate, triggered ructions within the party last year. Playing on the furore over the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme controversy, Independent Róisín Mc Mackin from Beragh has vowed to put “people before pellets” by spending much of her time during the campaign demanding improvements to local autism services.
Several party officers and councillors resigned in protest. Independent Susan-Anne White, who wants to criminalise homosexuality, is contesting the election again having picked up just 85 votes in last year’s Assembly election.
Buchanan’s newspaper clipping file is slight, though there was a complaint recently about the “outrageously slow” pace of a planning application for a crematorium in Omagh.
Life in the Ulster Unionists, however, is anything but quiet.
Prediction: Voter apathy is a big worry for candidates – last year the turnout dipped below 60 per cent for the first time (59.86 per cent), down from 64 per cent in 2011.
The indications are that Buchanan will retain a seat for the DUP and Sinn Féin will initially pick up two seats with Boyle and Mc Elduff.
Over the course of the interview, Newstalk host Ger Gilroy asked a number of questions about an alleged sexual relationship Mc Carron had with a 15-year-old, who he met on Tinder, an online dating app. "I can’t get behind somebody who’s involved with the incident and who deals with the aftermath of the incident in the way that you’ve done," Gilroy said."We were contacted by the father and asked not to speak to you.