Politics runs deep in the family of one Fermanagh and Omagh District Councillor.

Garbhan McPhillip, of the SDLP, was elected into the Council last Friday in Erne East, keeping the seat which was won by his father Richie in 2014. He is the latest in a line of politicians in the family over the last 120 years.

Thanks to Michael McPhillips, an uncle of Garbhan’s, an in depth history of their family’s involvement in politics has been revealed.

Speaking about the long line of public representatives in his family, the youngest of them all Garbhan said although it is nice to be a part of the family history it is not the reason he went in to politics.

“Of course I can say the whole thing means a lot to me and my family. Though it is not the main reason I am in politics. I want to help people but it is nice to help to add to the McPhillips’ history,” said Councillor McPhillips.

The McPhillips family has been entrenched in local politics from as far back as 1899 when Richard Dixie McPhillips was elected to the newly formed Clones Urban Council on January 1.

Richard McPhillips became the first Catholic to hold the post of Chairman in the Council.

A butcher by trade, Richard lived between Newtownbutler and Clones.

He had 10 children, one of them being Thomas.

He was to be the second member of the family to become involved in public life and was elected to Fermanagh County Council and Lisnaskea Urban Council as early as 1943.

In May 1993 the third generation of McPhillips’ to enter the world of politics was Tony McPhillips on the Fermanagh District Council where he served several terms.

His brother Richie followed him in 2014 when he was a candidate in the Erne East district for the new Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in which he successfully gained a seat for the SDLP.

Two years later, Richie was on the election trail again, this time looking for a seat in Stormont as an MLA. And again he was successful.

Due to becoming an MLA he had to relinquish his Council seat.

His son Garbhan was co-opted onto the Council to replace Richie and on Friday, May 4 the most recent of the McPhillips family to step into politics was returned as a Councillor for Erne East and therefore becoming the latest figure in the McPhillips household to serves the public in the last 120 years.

And there may even be a fifth generation of McPhillips in political life in years to come.

Councillor McPhillips joked his daughter had been touted by some in his family as the next in line.

And although he won’t be pushing her in any particular direction, he admits it would be nice to add another bit of history to add to his family.