Conall McDevitt

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Conall McDevitt
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for South Belfast
In office
21 May 2010 – 4 September 2013
Preceded by Carmel Hanna
Succeeded by Fearghal McKinney
Personal details
Born (1972-06-01) 1 June 1972 (age 44)[1]
Dublin, Republic of Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party SDLP
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Official website

Conall McDevitt (born 1972 in Dublin) is a disgraced Irish nationalist former politician and MLA for South Belfast. He also served as the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) spokesman on Health, Social Services and Public safety and Policing,[2] and was appointed to the Policing Board in May 2011.[2]

McDevitt became the National Secretary of Labour Youth (Ireland) in 1993 and Vice President of ECOSY (European Community Organisation of Socialist Youth) in 1994.[2] He became the SDLP Director of Communications in November 1996 until December 1999, a time that included the negotiations leading to the Good Friday Agreement and first Assembly elections.[2] He left the SDLP to work as customer relations manager of Viridian Group PLC,[citation needed] then owners of Northern Ireland Electricity.

Following the establishment of the power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive, McDevitt served as Special Adviser to the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Bríd Rodgers. He was involved in the attempts to resolve the Drumcree conflict and advised Rodgers during the 2001 United Kingdom foot-and-mouth outbreak.

Managing Director of Weber Shandwick[citation needed] in Northern Ireland from 2007 until his election to the MLA in 2010 and Chairperson of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, he has won several Public Relations Consultants Association, CIPR Pride CIPR Excellence awards for his consultancy work[citation needed]. He was selected as the new SDLP MLA for South Belfast on 9 December 2009 and succeeded Carmel Hanna in the Northern Ireland Assembly in early 2010.[3]

On 17 May 2012, McDevitt launched a consultation seeking views on a reduction in speed limits from 30 mph to 20 mph on designated unclassified roads.[4]

McDevitt said the SDLP was "100%" behind moves to permit same-sex marriage, but caused controversy by saying two veteran councillors would be disciplined over their opposition to it.[5]

In September 2013 he resigned from the Assembly after the revelation of three separate undeclared payments, amounting in total to £50,750 made up of £30,000 [6] to JM Consulting for research support for his work as a member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, £14,000 to JM Consulting [7] for research and secretarial services for his work as an MLA and £6,750 [8] from his previous employer Weber Shandwick while sitting as an MLA. JM Consulting is owned by McDevitt’s wife Joanne Murphy [9]

Three months after his resignation he joined Dublin based Public Relations and lobbying firm Hume Brophy [10] and as of 2016 was made its chief executive.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Dublin, Ireland, but brought up in Málaga, Andalusia, Spain, McDevitt was educated at the Instituto Bachillerato Mixto, Fuengirola. He lectures occasionally on public affairs and public relations. His blog was a source of commentary on economic and political issues in Ireland.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ a b c d
  3. ^ Jim Fitzpatrick "Stormont new faces bring fresh perspectives" BBC News
  4. ^ McDevitt, Conall. "20's plenty - Private Members Bill". SDLP. SDLP. Retrieved 7 March 2013. 
  5. ^ McKeown, Lesley-Anne. "SDLP spat over stance on same-sex marriages". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 27 August 2012. 
  6. ^ Agend NI "Transparency the McDevitt Case" Agenda NI, Retrieved 7 February 2017
  7. ^ Irish Independent "Rising star Conall McDevitt quits politics after failing to declare payments", Irish Independent, Retrieved 7 February 2017
  8. ^ Belfast Telegraph "Conall McDevitt quits politics after serious breach of MLA code", Belfast Telegraph Retrieved 7 February 2017
  9. ^ BBC news "Conall McDevitt from SDLP quits over payment", BBC News, Retrieved 7 February 2017
  10. ^ PR Week "Hume Brophy Hires Politician who quit over Weber Shandwick Payments", PR Week, Retrieved 7 February 2017
  11. ^ Conall McDevitt Hume Brophy

External links[edit]

Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
Carmel Hanna
MLA for South Belfast
Succeeded by
Fearghal McKinney