‘It’s part of my destiny’

Coleraine Borough Council's latest lady councillor Stephanie Quigley a Mum of five children. Stephanie who is a keen cycle rider takes over from her veteran Father Gerry McLaughlin who is retiring from his SDLP post.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON
Coleraine Borough Council's latest lady councillor Stephanie Quigley a Mum of five children. Stephanie who is a keen cycle rider takes over from her veteran Father Gerry McLaughlin who is retiring from his SDLP post.PICTURE MARK JAMIESON

Meet Coleraine’s new councillor - Stephanie Quigley.

This week Stephanie takes over from her father, Gerry McLaughlin as an SDLP councillor in the Coleraine Central ward.

This week, she spoke to The Times and admitted that her father will be a hard act to follow, but also said that she is looking forward to the challenge.

45-year-old Stephanie is a mum of five.

Her eldest child is 22, the youngest is just five - she hopes to draw on her experiences as a busy mum in a bid to help others in the borough.

Taking over from her father Gerry, who was a councillor for over 20 years, will be a hard act to follow according to the sports enthusiast.

“If I’m anywhere near as good as my father, then I’ll be doing well,” told Stephanie.

“My dad will be a hard act to follow, but he will be a great guide to me, “ she said.

Stephanie says she believes becoming an elected representative in Coleraine was part of her destiny, she explained: “I am honouring God and my father - I really have everything to give, and if I can help people along the way then I will be really happy.”

Stephanie has been married to husband Nigel for 23 years.

She says that both her husband and her children have been very supportive of her new challenge.

“My husband is an incredible man, and I know he’ll be at my side every step of the way.

“My children have also been a great support.

“And that is really important to me, my husband, my children and my home are priorities in my life.

“My mother and father have great faith, we grew up as a very close knit family, there were ten of us, and I believe that things like this carry you through.

“As a councillor my father never changed, and I don’t want to be anything that I am not.

“I have my faith in God, and I know He will show me the right path.”

Stephanie, who was a senior podiatrist with the Northern Trust for 20 years, says that she was anxious about getting involved in politics, but she admits after attending an SDLP meeting last month, she felt that she was doing the right thing.

“Three key things came out of the meeting - reconciliation, fighting for social justice and a better future - things that I really believe in.

“After considering these issues I knew that the role was for me.”

Describing her father has ‘an ordinary working man with big hands’, Stephanie says that she has a heart like her father, and that she hopes to fight for the underdog just as her father did.

“I am a mum, I have been through things, I know how difficult life can be. I will use life’s experiences in a bid to help the poor and the marginalised in our society.

“I know that God is in this with my and he will show me the way.”

Stephanie join Maura Hickey and Roisin Loftus in an all-female party grouping on Coleraine Borough Council.