SDLP selects MLA Pat Catney as Lagan Valley candidate
The SDLP has selected incumbent MLA Pat Catney as its candidate for the next Assembly election in Lagan Valley.
Mr Catney was selected at a virtual selection convention in the constituency on Wednesday night.
SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood said: “Since entering politics Pat Catney has been a tireless champion for the people of Lagan Valley. He has brought real life experience, gained from years in the hospitality industry and business ownership, to the Assembly that cuts through the bluster displayed by too many of our politicians and gets to the heart of issues that matter for his constituents.
“I’m delighted that Pat will once again be the SDLP candidate in Lagan Valley. While others are already making plans based on seats they have not yet won, Pat will continue working, listening to local people and delivering on the issues that matter to them.
"Over the past five years Pat has been the lone nationalist voice in Lagan Valley, but his booming voice has been heard loud and clear by everyone across the North. Lagan Valley needs politicians that genuinely care about the people there and if elected I’m sure Pat will continue his good work and play a key role in our SDLP team.”
Lagan Valley MLA Pat Catney said: “I’m honoured to have been selected to once again run to represent the people of Lagan Valley. Over the past five years our SDLP team in Lisburn has worked hard to help people living here every single day. Even when the Assembly collapsed the work went on and I think we can be very proud of everything we’ve achieved despite the obvious challenges posed by the stalemate caused by Sinn Féin and the DUP.
“Lagan Valley has been subject to plenty of media attention in recent months. Two of my fellow constituency MLAs have made the headlines for the wrong reasons. Edwin Poots in his ill-fated spell as DUP leader and Paul Givan when he became First Minister against the wishes of his party.
"Now the new DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson has announced his intention to come and join us in Lagan Valley. While all this has played out my primary focus has remained working hard on behalf of my constituents and addressing the issues that matter to them.
“Aside from constituency work I’m currently working on bringing forward legislation to address period poverty in the North by making period products available for free in schools, colleges and public buildings. This is the type of big thinking we need to take this place forward and make a difference in the lives of ordinary people. There is still so much work to be done, and I hope to be re-elected to continue getting results for the people of Lagan Valley and doing what I can on a wider basis to make life better for everyone in Northern Ireland.”
Pat Catney is the SDLP MLA for Lagan Valley.
A former publican, Pat has a lifetime's experience working in the hospitality sector and managing a number of small businesses.
As the SDLP Spokesperson for Small Business and Innovation, Pat has been focused on helping retailers, hospitality businesses and others access vital support grants during the Covid-19 crisis.
Pat is also a keen singer and performs with local choirs, particularly during the festive season.
He is currently bringing forward new legislation that would end the injustice of period poverty in Northern Ireland by making period products available in all public buildings.