Dr. Alasdair McDonnell
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Thursday 15th of August 2013
 Dr. Alasdair McDonnell MP

Alasdair at a glance: Alasdair grew up as the eldest child, in a large farming family, in Glenariffe near Cushendall in the Glens of Antrim, went to school in Garron Tower and then medical school in University College Dublin, graduating in 1974. After his graduation he returned to Belfast to become a G.P on the Lower Ormeau Road, a service he provided for over 30 years. Alasdair is married to Olivia Nugent with four young children, Dearbhla, Ruairi, Oisin and Aileen Political background: Alasdair McDonnell has a grounded history in Northern Ireland politics stretching back to 1968 when he became involved in the Civil Rights movement. He took his first step into electoral politics in June 1970 when, as a young 19 year old, he stood in North Antrim against the Rev. Ian Paisley in the Westminster election of that year. In 1977 he was elected on to Belfast City Council where he served the residents of the Laganbank (Ormeau) ward for many years. In 1995 he was the first ever Nationalist to be elected Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast. In May 1996 he was elected for the South Belfast constituency to the Inter-Party Talks Forum and was elected to the New Assembly in 1998, topping the poll in South Belfast. In 2001 he retired from the City Council and withdrew from full time medical Practice, to concentrate on Assembly duties. Alasdair has stood as an SDLP Candidate for South Belfast in every Parliamentary election since 1979 steadily building support. The pinnacle of his political career came in the General Election of May 2005 when he was elected as the first ever Nationalist MP for South Belfast. A success he repeated in May 2010. Alasdair was elected Deputy Leader of the SDLP from February 2004 to January 2010. He was elected leader of the party in November 2011. Policy Priorities: Alasdairís main political interests include: job creation, maximising opportunities from newly emerging industries including the renewable energy sector, tackling educational underachievement particularly in disadvantaged areas and building reconciliation on the island of Ireland. As a Belfast Councillor in the 1990ís Alasdair was a key driver for Urban Reconstruction and Economic Development. He led on the regeneration of the Gas Works site and played a key role in promoting Belfast as a location for inward investment. He has served as a Director of Laganside Development Corporation and as a member of the Assembly Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee and he continues to spearhead a number of economic regeneration projects across Belfast. He currently serves on the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee in The House of Common

 
 
Dr. Alasdair McDonnell
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