Fermanagh Ulster Unionist Association has confirmed that Enniskillen man Roy Crawford has been selected to replace Councillor Howard Thornton in the recently vacated UUP Enniskillen DEA seat.

An Ulster Unionist spokesperson said: “When Councillor Thornton indicated his intention to stand down from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council we set about an open process to replace him.

“Howard has served this community for many years through his service on the RUC and PSNI. He has been an excellent and dedicated councillor who served his constituents tirelessly and did himself and the party proud. We certainly know how much he is respected and valued throughout society.”

The new councillor elect, Roy Crawford, said: “From a very young age, I have always had a keen interest in politics and have been an active member of the Ulster Unionist Party for more than 20 years.

“From leaving school and becoming an engineer and then in more recent years playing my role as a funeral director, through both of these roles I have gained much-needed life experiences.

“I have learnt to help and support families in their time of need, but most importantly be that listening ear for individuals.”

Mr. Crawford serves as Vice-Chairperson of the Ely Centre Board of Directors. Speaking of his involvement, he said: “One of the reasons why I got involved in the Ely Centre was due to the fact that my father, Ivan Crawford, was murdered in 1987.

“My father was a serving police officer who was murdered on the main street of Enniskillen by the IRA.

“As a result of this, I am a keen activist in promoting peace and reconciliation for everyone, especially for the younger generation today.”

Mr. Crawford highlighted some areas of interest to him including health, tourism, economic growth and support for the agriculture sector.

Concluding, he said: “I want to be a strong community leader who will be approachable to all constituents and I feel this is the right time for me to take a more proactive approach to politics, especially in the challenging times we are currently in.”