Gerry Carroll

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Gerry Carroll

Gerry Carroll 2016.jpg
Carroll in 2016
Member of
Belfast City Council
In office
22 May 2014 – 7 May 2016
Serving with six others
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byMatthew Collins
ConstituencyBlack Mountain
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Belfast West
Assumed office
7 May 2016
Preceded byRosie McCorley
Personal details
Born27 April 1987 (1987-04-27) (age 32)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Political partyPeople Before Profit
Alma materUniversity of Ulster
OccupationPolitician

Gerry Carroll (born 27 April 1987) is a People Before Profit politician from Belfast, Northern Ireland, who has represented the Belfast West constituency in the Northern Ireland Assembly since May 2016. From 2014 until 2016 he also represented the Black Mountain district electoral area on Belfast City Council.

Career[edit]

When aged 16, Carroll fund-raised with fellow activists to travel to Edinburgh for the Make Poverty History protest. He contested the 2011 Belfast West by-election—triggered by the resignation of Gerry Adams—for the People Before Profit, and won 7.6% of the vote. At the 2014 Belfast City Council election he gained one of the seven seats in the Black Mountain electoral area from Sinn Féin, coming third. Following his election, he said that he did not describe himself as a nationalist or a unionist, instead choosing to identify as a socialist. He said: "There is a lot of anger in West Belfast at the minute over the situation at Royal Victoria Hospital's A&E, the privatisation of leisure centres and the Casement Park issues...residents have been trampled on".[1] He contested Belfast West again at the 2015 general election,[2] this time coming second, gaining 19.2% of the vote and reducing the Sinn Féin majority from 57.1% to 35.0%.[3]

After being elected a councillor, Carroll criticised the large pay rises that were given to councillors whilst other council staff suffered effective pay cuts, and campaigned against privatisation and cuts.[4]

He criticised Sinn Féin's "support for capitalism", and spoke against the "sectarian nature" of politics in Northern Ireland. In August 2014 he said: "In Northern Ireland sectarianism is at the heart of the state. I don't accept that, but then again I don't accept the conservative right-wing state in the south". At the 2016 Assembly election he was elected an MLA for Belfast West, topping the poll on the first count and gaining a seat from Rosie McCorley of Sinn Féin.[5] He was re-elected at the 2017 election; however, his vote fell from 22.9% to 12.2% in the face of a 4% overall Sinn Féin vote increase that cost fellow People Before Profit MLA Eamonn McCann and the SDLP's Alex Attwood their re-election bids.[6]

Carroll's support for Brexit, in an area in which three-quarters of voters voted Remain, has attracted criticism from Sinn Féin and pro-EU activists.[7][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Black, Rebecca (24 May 2014). "I am not a nationalist or a unionist, I am a socialist, says People Before Profit's new Belfast councillor Gerry Carroll". The Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  2. ^ Ó Muilleoir, Tiarnán (6 March 2015). "Carroll vows to take on 'austerity parties'". Belfast Media Group. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Belfast West parliamentary constituency – Election 2015". BBC News. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  4. ^ Stewart, Alan (27 June 2015). "Politician expresses fears over Waterfront Hall 'privatisation'". Belfast Live. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  5. ^ Little, Ivan. "West Belfast: Fairy tale win for newcomer Carroll as he snatches seat from Sinn Féin". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  6. ^ Allison Morris. "West Belfast: Only the most optimistic would have predicted such a massive swing back to Sinn Féin". The Irish News. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  7. ^ "Carroll and McCann align themselves to Tory right wingers – Maskey | Sinn Féin". Sinnfein.ie. 18 October 2016. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  8. ^ "People Before Profit's justification for Brexit is just nonsense". The Irish News. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
Rosie McCorley
MLA for Belfast West
2016–present
Incumbent