The son of a prison officer murdered by dissident republicans has been selected by the DUP to contest a seat in the upcoming local council election.
On Monday night the party announced that Kyle Black will be a candidate for the Carntogher electoral ward with Mid Ulster Council on May 2.
Mr Black’s father David Black was shot dead as he drove along the M1 motorway near Lurgan in November 2012.
He said it was a “privilege” to be given the opportunity to stand in the election.
“I have always had a keen interest in politics and have given the prospect of getting involved a great deal of consideration in recent years,” he said.
“I have obviously been shaped and moulded by my own background and circumstances, which will always be a massive part of who I am. I cannot change what has happened, however I will not let my circumstances totally define who I am as an individual.”
Mr Black added: “I feel that I now have a voice, which can be used in a positive way within the political arena. My family and I have received a great deal of public support in recent years and this has driven me to want to give back to the community. I am determined to play my part in building a better future for everyone in our society.”
“I have a desire to represent the views and the needs of people, particularly those living within the Mid Ulster Council area. The people living in places like Maghera and Upperlands are within a Council area where the unionist voice is in the minority. Many people feel that republicans are very quick to demand respect from others but demonstrate no willingness to offer any such respect to the unionist community. I firmly believe in equality and respect, however this approach does not reflect the true meaning of these phrases. Equality and respect cannot be a one way street.”
DUP leader Arlene Foster said Mr Black will be an “articulate and dedicated representative” for all, and added: “As a young person Kyle has experienced some of the worst of our society but I have been hugely impressed with his determination to make a difference.”
She added: “I know that Kyle will play an invaluable role within that strong [DUP] team in Mid Ulster.”