Sinn Féin group leader on Mid Ulster Council, Ronan McGinley, has announced he is standing down from his role on the council to take up other responsibilities within the party.
He has nominated Councillor Cathal Mallaghan as new group leader, and this is expected to be ratified by the party.
Speaking after the council’s monthly meeting on Thursday, Councillor McGinley said: “It has been a huge honour to serve as a councillor on the Mid Ulster Council.
“I have tried to carry out my role to the best of my abilities and fully represent the people of Torrent.
“I would like to say a massive thank you to the residents of Mid Ulster, all those who put their trust in me to represent them and make their voices heard.
“The residents of Mid Ulster have been at the heart of all my decision making and actions. I wish to thank the elected members from all parties for the positive partnership working over the past number of years.
“I believe we have achieved a lot together and I wish Mid Ulster council every success moving forward.
“I would also like to express my appreciation to the entire Mid Ulster Council staff team.
“Their support was invaluable, and the passion for our district is evident in the council’s successes and achievements.
“I wish Mid Ulster council continued success and am looking forward to seeing it remain innovative, forward thinking and at the heart of our community.”
Sinn Féin’s new group leader, Cathal Mallaghan said: “Ronan McGinley’s contribution to politics in Mid Ulster cannot be understated.
“Threw in at the deep end after been first elected in 2014 he has led the largest Sinn Féin grouping on any council in Ireland.
“Tackled head on difficult issues and worked well with other party’s. It’s no wonder he has been called to serve the party at a senior level.
“On behalf of the council grouping we wish him all best of luck.”
Councillor Mallaghan, who is no stranger to leadership in Mid Ulster, has been serving as Planning Committee chair for three terms and led the organisation as its first chairperson back in 2014.
“I look forward to working with the council team, other parties and the senior management team of the council to ensure the council is reflective of our community and continues to deliver high level services while continuing to maintain modest budgets,” he said.