AN Ardoyne community worker who played an instrumental role during the Covid-19 pandemic is to be a Sinn Féin councillor.

Nichola Bradley is well known for her work at the Welfare Advice Centre and Community Foodbank in Ardoyne.

Nichola was nominated this week to replace Bone woman Shauneen Baker at City Hall.

Shauneen was elected to Belfast City Council in 2019 but has decided to step down to focus on her role as Chairperson of North Belfast Sinn Féin.

Shauneen explained: "As the Chairperson of North Belfast Sinn Féin, I want to focus my attention on growing and developing our party across the constituency and look forward to leading the team in the coming years towards achieving our strategic objectives. 

"I have been involved in the republican struggle my entire life, playing many different roles through various elements of our struggle. Never before has the appetite for constitutional change and Irish unity been greater. This is the decade of opportunity and we in North Belfast Sinn Féin will continue to invigorate, broaden and popularise the campaign for Irish unity and Independence.

"As chairperson I want to build the party from the grassroots up. To develop our membership and activist base, leading on localised and national campaigns. We now have a unique opportunity with John Finucane as our MP to highlight the inequalities that exist in working class communities and an MP that won't abstain from working hard on behalf of all communities in North Belfast, building a fairer, equal and inclusive society. 

"We have a strong team of seven councillors, two MLAs and an MP. We have a vision and the drive to deliver across the entire constituency and my role as chairperson is to ensure that happens."

Shauneen said it had been an honour and privilege to represent the people of the Oldpark for the last 16 months. 

“I want to wish Nichola Bradley the very best of luck as my replacement and I very much look forward to working with her in the weeks, months and years ahead. 

“Nichola has been a community activist since a teenager and has been proactive in various community initiatives, including the Ardoyne Foodbank and Welfare Advice Centre.

"In recent months, Nichola played a pivotal role in the North Belfast Community response to the Covid-19 health emergency, managing the community foodbank and overseeing thousands of parcels and supplies going to those most vulnerable in our society."