NI: Lawyers battling it out in North Belfast

Martin McAuley
Martin McAuley

The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) has named law graduate Martin McAuley as the party’s candidate in North Belfast, where he will compete with Sinn Féin’s John Finucane.

Mr McAuley is the SDLP’s press officer and stood for election in the constituency as an Independent candidate in 2010.

But despite his prior run, he is seen as having a much lower profile than his nationalist opponent Mr Finucane, partner at Finucane Toner Solicitors and a long-time campaigner for an inquiry into the 1989 murder of his father, Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

Mr McAuley has rejected claims that the SDLP’s selection of a relatively unknown candidate is effectively giving Sinn Féin a clear run.

At the last general election, Nigel Dodds of the Democratic Unionist Party won the North Belfast seat with 47 per cent of the vote. Gerry Kelly from Sinn Féin came second with 33.9 per cent of the vote.

The DUP has agreed an electoral pact with the Ulster Unionist Party in the constituency, so that Dodds will not face a UUP contender.

Share icon
Share this article: