After 24 years serving the people of Coleraine, councillor David McClarty will bid farewell to Council life tonight (Tuesday).
Making it very clear that his resignation is not because of illness, but in fact due to new legislation, the Coleraine man says he is emotional about leaving the seat he’s held since 1989.
As the only independent MLA at Stormont, McClarty admits he has very fond memories as a councillor, particularly as his time as Mayor of the borough in 1993, “it really has been an honour,” he said.
“Resignation is not because of illness, if anything maintaining my Assembly seat over Council proves that I am positive about my future as a public representative.
David has been undergoing treatment for lymphoma – a form of cancer that affects the blood since May. “The past year has been very difficult for me, my friends and my family.
“In November I had a minor set back which required further treatment, but they are well on their way towards fixing me, and I expect a return to full time work later next year.
“I am tired, which is an expected side affect of my treatment, and I have lost weight, but I could afford to lose it, but generally I am feeling better than I assumed I would.”
Exhausted from his chemotherapy treatment, the 62-year-old was still excited about introducing his successor, Claire Sugden.
“I am really looking forward to an exciting, new era in my career, where I can bring along and work with a very capable individual for the good of our constituents.
“Claire has worked for me for the past five years - she’s a very able young woman. She really deserves this chance, and I know she can’t wait to get started.”
Preparing for his final meeting at Cloonavin, David added: “I am emotional about leaving my council seat after 24 years.
“It’s where it began for me.
“I am sincerely privileged and grateful that the people of Coleraine have trusted me with their vote these many years.”