Eastwood in 2014
|Leader of the Opposition|
12 May 2016
Serving with Mike Nesbitt, Naomi Long
|First Minister||Arlene Foster|
|Preceded by||Position re-established|
|Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party|
14 November 2015
|Preceded by||Alasdair McDonnell|
|Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
|Preceded by||Pól Callaghan|
30 April 1983 |
Derry, Northern Ireland
|Alma mater||University of Liverpool|
Colum Eastwood MLA (born 30 April 1983) is an Irish nationalist politician and leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) since 2015. He was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2011, and has since been re-elected.
Colum Eastwood was born in Derry. He was educated at John's Primary School in Creggan, St Columb's College and then the University of Liverpool where he studied politics. He married Rachael Parkes in December 2013 and they live in Derry.
Following his election to the Northern Ireland Assembly in May 2011, Eastwood was appointed SDLP representative on the committee of the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister. He sits on the Northern Ireland Assembly committees on Standards and Privileges, and the Environment. He is the youngest SDLP member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
In 2012 he drew criticism from Unionists including Jim Allister after carrying the coffin at the paramilitary funeral of a former Irish National Liberation Army member in Derry. A masked Real Irish Republican Army gunman fired a volley of shots over the coffin, although Eastwood stated he was not present at the time of the gunfire. He defended his attendance at the funeral saying the deceased was a personal friend and added "I wasn't concerned at the time about who was standing beside me, or about what flag or otherwise was draped over the coffin." It later emerged that party colleague Mark H. Durkan also attended the funeral.
When a serving British soldier posted an offensive remark about the victims of Bloody Sunday on the internet, Eastwood said that "they [i.e. the Ministry of Defence] should dismiss this man from the army without delay."
- "Foyle results". BBC News – Election 2011. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
- Derry City Council Archived 11 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- "SDLP leadership: Colum Eastwood wins contest against Alasdair McDonnell". BBC News. 14 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
- "MLA criticised for role at funeral where shots fired", DerryJournal.com, 20 April 2012.
- "Colum Eastwood defends decision to carry coffin of friend Seamus Coyle", BBC.co.uk, 20 April 2012.
- "Colum Eastwood moved in SDLP Stormont shuffle", BBC.co.uk, 22 April 2012.
- "Derry Journal – 'Sunday' insult soldier should be kicked out of Army: MLA". Derry Journal. Derry Journal. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
|Mayor of Derry
2010 to 2011
|Party political offices|
|Leader of the SDLP
2015 to present
|Northern Ireland Assembly|
|MLA for Foyle
2011 to present