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Councillor suspended from duties for six months following drink-driving conviction

A Newry, Mourne and Down councillor has been suspended from his duties for six months after he was convicted of drink driving.

In January, Alliance councillor Patrick Brown, referred himself to Northern Ireland Local Government Commissioner for Standards, following his conviction in July 2017.

Mr Brown, who was riding a motorcycle with a pillion passenger at the time, was fined £250 and disqualified from driving for a year but was reduced after he completed a drink-driving offenders’ course.

The subsequent Commissioner’s investigation concluded that the councillor face a six month after he was found to have breached the code, which states that a councillor must not conduct themselves in a manner which “could reasonably be regarded as bringing your position as a councillor, or your council, into disrepute”.

In a statement at the time, Mr Brown said his actions were “a complete error of judgement and entirely out of character for me both as a person and a public representative”.

He added: “I am thankful no-one was hurt as the result of my stupidity and I make no excuse for my actions on the night in question. I have learned from this experience, will never repeat it and will use it to warn others never to do the same.”

Mr Brown’s suspension will commence on May 14.

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