Fearghal McKinney

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Fearghal McKinney
Deputy Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party
Assumed office
14 November 2015
Preceded by Dolores Kelly
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for South Belfast
Assumed office
16 September 2013
Preceded by Conall McDevitt
Personal details
Born (1962-07-06) 6 July 1962 (age 53)
Derry, Northern Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party SDLP
Spouse(s) Maire
Children 3
Residence Belfast
Profession Journalist
Religion Roman Catholicism

Fearghal McKinney (born 6 July 1962 in Derry, Northern Ireland)[1] is a Northern Irish politician and former journalist. In 2013, he was elected a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for the South Belfast constituency. Since November 2015, he has been deputy leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

Broadcasting career[edit]

McKinney was a reporter and presenter[2] on UTV Live, joining the station in 1994.[1] Before joining UTV, he was a journalist at The Impartial Reporter in his hometown of Enniskillen and Downtown Radio.[3]

In addition to his work for UTV Live, McKinney presented the series Sunday Issue and The Issue for UTV from 2003 to 2004.[3][4] He has also reported on, introduced television debates about, and co-hosted UTV's coverage of local and general elections.[5][6] McKinney was nominated in 2006 for the RTS Award for Nations and Regions Presenter.[7]

In January 2009, McKinney announced his departure from UTV, and left the station that month.[8]

Political career[edit]

McKinney unsuccessfully contested the Parliamentary constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone in the 2010 Westminster general election for the Social Democratic and Labour Party.[9] He was selected to replace Conall McDevitt as MLA for South Belfast [10] and became an MLA on 16 September 2013.[11]

McKinney has been appointed SDLP Health Spokesperson sitting on the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety. On 14 November 2015, he was elected deputy leader of the SDLP.[12]

Personal life[edit]

McKinney is married with three children and lives in Belfast.


  1. ^ a b Fearghal McKinney's profile on u.tv WebArchive.org
  2. ^ UTV News Presenters UTV Today
  3. ^ a b "Interview: So who cut your hair, son?" Belfast Telegraph, 2 April 2003; accessed 16 June 2008
  4. ^ BFI Film and TV Database
  5. ^ Election 2007 - Election Live UTV Today
  6. ^ Election 2007 - The UTV Debate UTV Today
  7. ^ RTS Programme Award Winners 2006
  8. ^ "Two popular faces leaving UTV" News Letter, 20 January 2009; accessed 20 January 2009
  9. ^ "Former UTV man Fearghal McKinney to seek SDLP selection". BBC News. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "Fearghal McKinney chosen as MLA to replace SDLP's Conall McDevitt". BBC News. 12 September 2013. 
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ "SDLP leadership: Colum Eastwood wins contest against Alasdair McDonnell". BBC News. 14 November 2015. Retrieved 14 November 2015.