ENNISKILLEN man Paul Blake says he is honoured to have been successfully selected as the SDLP’s replacement for outgoing councillor Patricia Rogers.
A member of the famous Blake’s of the Hollow family, the former St. Joseph’s College student was selected as the new councillor for Enniskillen at an SDLP convention at Belmore Court on Friday.
Delighted to be serving in his home town, Mr. Blake said he was keen to “hit the ground running.”
He was one of three initial candidates to be put forward for the position, up against Greg McMullin from Fintona and Adam Gannon from Irvinestown.
Ahead of the convention on Friday however, Mr. McMullin pulled out of the race after his contract with the Fermanagh and Omagh Community and Safety Partnership (PCSP) was renewed.
A Politics and International Relations graduate, Mr. Blake had previously stood for election in 2014 in the Erne North area.
He says however, he is delighted that he is now representing his home town for a party he has been connected with for many years.
“I have always worked to serve my community. I am very proud of where I come from and I am hopeful that we can build a better future for people here,” he said, “This is some thing I was thinking about for a while. Enniskillen is a familiar patch to me!
“It is a great opportunity to serve here and I want to get to work immediately for the benefit of the people in the area. There are a lot of things that need to be done and I want to hit the ground running on them.”
Mr. Blake said he wanted to “build on the SDLP  vote” as well as focus on “building bridges”.
“I know this town and I absolutely love this town,” he said, “I’m a hard worker, I’m very open and very approachable and I just want to get on with things - that is what I am going to bring to the table.”
He also paid tribute to his predecessor, Mrs. Rogers: “Patricia will be missed by many and I hope that I can follow in her footsteps to help deliver for our area.”