Belfast Area G

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Area G was one of the eight district electoral areas (DEA) which existed in Belfast, Northern Ireland from 1973 to 1985. Covering Belfast city centre and the inner parts of the north and west of the city, the district elected six members to Belfast City Council and contained the wards of Central; Court; Crumlin; New Lodge; North Howard; and Shankill. The DEA formed part of the Belfast North and Belfast West constituencies.

History[edit]

The area was created for the 1973 local government elections. It combined the whole of the former Court and Dock wards with parts of the Clifton, Shankill, Smithfield and Woodvale wards. It was abolished for the 1985 local government elections, when it was split between the new Oldpark and Court DEAs.

Results[edit]

1973[edit]

Belfast E[1]
Party Candidate 1st Pref
UUP M. Laird 3,632
UUP Herbert Ditty 3,556
SDLP Gerry Fitt 2,876
UUP H. H. Kidd 2,651
Independent Unionist Sammy Millar 2,291
Alliance M. J. V. McKeown 572
Republican Clubs John McAlea 376
NI Labour Boyle 368
Republican Clubs McGlade 291
Republican Labour Jim O'Kane 193
NI Labour Pakenham 182
Republican Labour S. O'Hare 174
NI Labour Jack Sharkey 132
Independent Moya Saunders 52
Republican Labour Scullion 19
Independent Rigby 13
Turnout 17,895

1977[edit]

Belfast G[1]
Party Candidate 1st Pref
SDLP Gerry Fitt 3,006
DUP Frederick Ashby 1,377
Republican Clubs Seamus Lynch 1,323
UUP Herbert Ditty 1,043
UUP Cecil Walker 779
DUP G. A. Haffey 742
UUP M. Laird 592
UUP Sammy Millar 515
Independent Unionist H. H. Kidd 387
Alliance McKeown 320
Turnout 10,970
Democratic Unionist gain from Ulster Unionist
Republican Clubs gain from Independent Unionist

January 1981 by-election[edit]

The by-election was held in controversial circumstances following the death of the Alliance councillor McKeown. The DUP were criticised for blocking the co-option of an Alliance member, triggering an election just 3 months before regular council elections were held.[2] The DUP then opted not to contest the by-election. The UUP candidate David Smylie, a former councillor for Area E, withdrew after nominations closed, claiming that he had received a paramilitary death threat.[2] In March 1981, Sammy Millar, the by-election winner, survived an assassination attempt by the Irish National Liberation Army in which he was seriously injured.[3]

Area G by-election, 28 January 1981
Party Candidate Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4
Independent Unionist Sammy Millar 1826 2111 2295 2328
SDLP Brian Feeney 1093 1095 1326 1823
Workers' Party Margaret McNulty 936 939 1015
Alliance Philip McGarry 639 689
UUP David Smylie 497

1981[edit]

Belfast G[1]
Party Candidate 1st Pref
DUP Frederick Ashby 1,913
People's Democracy Fergus O'Hare 1,953
New Ulster Political Research Sammy Millar 1,420
UUP Cecil Walker 1,173
Workers' Party Seamus Lynch 750
SDLP Brian Feeney 749
UUP Herbert Ditty 595
Independent Socialist Gerry Fitt 541
DUP Joseph Coggle 392
Alliance P. J. McGarry 313
Turnout 10,336
Democratic Unionist gain from Alliance
People's Democracy gain from Republican Clubs
New Ulster Political Research gain from Ulster Unionist

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Local Government Elections 1973–1981: Belfast, Northern Ireland Elections
  2. ^ a b Belfast Telegraph, 30 January 1981, p1-4
  3. ^ The Divided Province: The Troubles in Northern Ireland, 1969-1985, Keith Jeffrey, Orbis Books (London) Limited, 1985, p116