UUP deputy mayor told to quit over drink-driving

Derry City & Strabane District Councillor Derek Hussey.
Derry City & Strabane District Councillor Derek Hussey.

Derry City and Strabane District Council has passed a motion calling on deputy mayor Alderman Derek Hussey to step down from the role because of his three drink-driving convictions.

The Sinn Fein motion was passed by 25 votes to one, with Alderman Hussey the only person to vote against. The DUP abstained from the vote.

The motion was passed despite Alderman Hussey agreeing to step down as chair of the Policing Community Safety Partnership in favour of his Ulster Unionist colleague Mary Hamilton.

The council heard an email sent earlier in the day by Ulster Unionist party leader Robin Swann which confirmed Mr Hussey was stepping down from the policing partnership.

In the email Mr Swann referred to the increase in Alderman Hussey’s workload as deputy mayor as the reason for him stepping down as chair.

Sinn Fein’s Sandra Duffy said Mr Swann’s intervention had made matters worse.

“This has compounded the hurt of the families who have lost people to drink-driving,” she said.

Mr Hussey said he had received many hundreds of messages of support during the week.

“My actions in the past were wrong and I have apologised for them, “ he said.

“I do not seek to cause hurt by seeking to retain my position as deputy mayor.

“It was not me who caused the fatalities of these families or any fatalities.

“The irony of Sinn Fein bringing such a motion is not lost on anyone.”

Councillor Duffy said: “I want to commend the Bradley and Gallagher families for the dignity and resolve they have shown over recent days.

“Mr Hussey does not enjoy the confidence of the wider public and is undermining the approach public bodies must take to issues such as drink-driving.”