Turley leaves RTE for top comms position at SDLP

Barry Turley has been appointed communications director of Northern Ireland’s moderate nationalist party, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP).

Barry Turley has been appointed communications director of Northern

Ireland’s moderate nationalist party, the Social Democratic and Labour

Party (SDLP).



Turley joined the party from Irish television channel RTE, where he was

a general news reporter for the last two-and-a-half years. Before RTE,

Turley freelanced for the BBC in Belfast as a political reporter for

seven years.



He replaces Conall McDevitt, who left in January to become customer

marketing communications manager at Ireland’s largest plc, Viridian.



Turley joined the SDLP in time to handle communications during the push

for a Good Friday settlement on the arms decommissioning issue.



He reports to the party’s general secretary Jerry Cosgrove. Eilish

Haughey, who has been acting in his role since McDevitt’s departure, is

the party’s only full-time press officer. She will now report to Turley

and will continue to handle communications for the party’s Northern

Ireland Assembly members.



The party intends to recruit a further press officer to handle media

relations for its local councillors.



The SDLP holds 24 seats in the assembly, having fielded 38 candidates in

the elections in June last year. SDLP deputy leader Seamus Mallon is

deputy first minister of the assembly, while Ulster Unionist Party

leader David Trimble is first minister.



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