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Peter Canavan rules out by-election bid

Barry McElduff pictured with Peter Canavan.

Peter Canavan has ended speculation that he could stand for Sinn Féin in the upcoming West Tyrone by-election.

One of Ireland’s best known sports personalities, Peter Canavan is considered one of the greatest players in the history of the GAA and a living legend among Tyrone supporters.

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A teacher at Holy Trinity College in Cookstown, Mr Canavan has built a successful career as a GAA pundit with Sky Sports and has spent several seasons on the sidelines in high profile managerial roles.

But he also maintains close links with Sinn Féin, lending his support to Martin McGuinness’ 2011 Irish Presidential campaign and to former West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty.

Mr Canavan also endorsed Barry McElduff in successive election races in West Tyrone over the past two years.

However following Mr McElduff’s resignation as MP on Monday in the wake of the controversy over a tweet linked to the Kingsmills atrocity, Mr Canavan’s name had emerged as a possible candidate in the upcoming West Tyrone by-election.

But speaking to the Ulster Herald on Tuesday night, he said, “I can confirm I have not been contacted by anyone to stand in forthcoming election nor do I have any desire to do so.”

Still reeling from the surprise resignation of Barry McElduff, local Sinn Féin members will meet later this week to begin compiling a potential list of names to go forward to an upcoming selection convention.

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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