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Mark H. Durkan

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Mark H. Durkan
Member of the Legislative Assembly
for Foyle
Assumed office
Preceded byMary Bradley
Minister of the Environment
In office
16 July 2013 – 6 May 2016
Preceded byAlex Attwood
Succeeded byabolished
Personal details
Mark Henry Durkan

(1978-03-03) 3 March 1978 (age 46)
Derry, Northern Ireland
Political partySDLP
SpouseAnne Carlin
RelativesMark Durkan (uncle)

Mark Henry Durkan (born 3 March 1978)[1] is a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) politician in Northern Ireland who was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2011, representing the Foyle constituency.[2][3] He served as Minister of the Environment until the department was dissolved in 2016. He is currently the SDLP spokesperson for Social Justice.

Early life[edit]

Mark Durkan was born March 3, 1978, to Patrick and Gay Durkan. He was one of six siblings. He studied in St Columb's College, Derry, before studying English at Queen's University, Belfast. After leaving university, he worked for Ulster Ceramics, and then as a shop assistant, until his election to Derry City Council in 2005.[4]


Durkan was elected to Derry City Council in 2005 topping the poll with 2369 first preference votes.[5] He served on council until May 2011 sitting on the Western Health & Social Care Board and Western Education and Library Board.[6] After his election to the Assembly in May 2011 he served as his party's health spokesman from May 2011 to April 2012, and campaigned on the outbreak in January 2012 of pseudomonas at both Royal Jubilee Maternity Services (Belfast) and Altnagelvin Area Hospital (Derry), which claimed the lives of several infants.[7]

It was on the NI Assembly's Social Development Committee from May 2011 to July 2013 where he really came to the fore working tirelessly and effectively on issues such as housing and to protect the most vulnerable in society from the negative impacts the Welfare Reform Bill.[8] As Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan has proposed reforms to the NI Planning system in order to make it fairer, faster and more fit for purpose.[9] He is also considering an outright ban on election posters.[10]

Personal life[edit]

In 2006, Durkan sustained life-threatening injuries following a fall at his parents' home.[4]

In his spare time, he regularly gives his time to charitable causes, which led him to compete in Ballroom and Latin Dancing competitions in his hometown,[11] and white-collar boxing bouts.[12] He is a running enthusiast having completed several half marathons and the first ever Walled City Marathon in Derry on 2 June 2013.[13][14]

Durkan married Anne Carlin on 13 July 2013,[15] and has three sons and a daughter. The family live in Strathfoyle. He is a nephew of former SDLP leader Mark Durkan.


  1. ^ "MLA Details: Mr Mark Durkan". Aims.niassembly.gov.uk. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Election 2011 - Northern Ireland - Foyle". Bbc.co.uk. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Derry Journal: The 'Durkan brand' gets Mark H elected". The Derry Journal. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  4. ^ a b McNeilly, Claire. "Mark H Durkan on the sisters he lost to suicide and a car crash". Belfasttelegraph.
  5. ^ Dr Nicholas Whyte. "Derry City Council, 1993-2011". Ark.ac.uk. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  6. ^ Mary Minihan (25 April 2011). "Assembly election: constituency profile". Irishtimes.com. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  7. ^ "SDLP". Sdlp.ie. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  8. ^ "Durkan: We support welfare reform, not unfair reform". Derry Journal. 26 February 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Environment Minister Mark Durkan proposes reform to speed planning". BBC News. 9 January 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  10. ^ Simpson, Mark (12 February 2014). "Giro d'Italia: Mark H Durkan considers election poster blanket ban". BBC News. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  11. ^ "Pink Ladies to cha, cha, quick step and jive". Derry Journal. 14 February 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  12. ^ "BBC News - Mark H Durkan has the eye of the tiger". Bbc.co.uk. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  13. ^ "A big congrats & Big good luck to Our boss Mark Durkan today running the marathon". M.youtube.com. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  14. ^ "SLIDESHOW-The Walled City Marathon 2013". Derry Journal. 4 June 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  15. ^ "SDLP's Mark H Durkan becomes new man on the high wire as Environment Minister". Belfasttelegraph. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by MLA for Foyle
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of the Environment
2013 – 2016
Office abolished