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Mark Langhammer is a politician in Northern Ireland, and prominent northern-based member of the Irish Labour Party.

Langhammer first became involved in politics in the 1980s, joining the Campaign for Labour Representation, which aimed to persuade the British Labour Party to organise in Northern Ireland.[1] He was also active in the British and Irish Communist Organisation.[2] He stood unsuccessfully for Newtownabbey Borough Council in Doagh Road in 1985 for the 'All Night Party'. Although Langhammer polled over 200 votes his four running mates polled poorly, with one polling just one vote, which as of November 2008, remains a record low in Northern Ireland council elections.[3] In 1989, he stood in the European Parliament election as a "Labour Representation" candidate, but he took only 3,540 votes.[4]

Langhammer subsequently joined the Newtownabbey Labour Party, and in 1993 was elected to Newtownabbey Borough Council for Macedon.[5] The Campaign for Labour Representation disbanded, having accepted that the British Labour Party had no intention of organising in Northern Ireland, and Langhammer instead began lobbying the Irish Labour Party to do so.[1]

From 1994 until 1998, Langhammer was the Chair of the Northern Ireland Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux; he was subsequently the Chair of Playboard NI.[1]

Langhammer was initially recognised as the leader of the Labour Coalition, formed in 1996 to contest elections to the Northern Ireland Forum.[1] He headed the group's list in the Belfast North constituency, but this took only 571 votes, and he was not elected.[6] He also took third position on the Coalition's regional list, but only the first two candidates were successful.[7] Amid turmoil in the Coalition, Langhammer refused to take part in the talks which led to the Good Friday Agreement, holding that the set-up for them was "institutionalised sectarianism".[1]

Langhammer held his council seat in 1997 and 2001 before standing down in 2005.[5] In 2002, he was injured in a pipe bomb attack, which police attributed to loyalist paramilitaries.[8]

In 2003, the Irish Labour Party began admitting members in the north, and the following year, Langhammer became the Chair of the Northern Ireland Labour Forum, the local branch of the party. In 2005, he was unsuccessful in elections to the Labour Party NEC, but was co-opted on the proposal of Kathleen Lynch.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Labour Party co-opts Langhammer to NEC", Labour Party, 20 June 2005
  2. ^ Peter Hadden, "Can sectarian politics be challenged?", Committee for a Workers International
  3. ^ Local Government Elections 1985 - 1989: Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland Elections
  4. ^ The 1989 European elections, Northern Ireland Elections
  5. ^ a b Newtownabbey Borough Council Elections 1993 - 2005, Northern Ireland Elections
  6. ^ 1996 Forum Elections: Candidates in North Belfast, Northern Ireland Elections
  7. ^ The 1996 Forum Elections: Regional List of Candidates, Northern Ireland Elections
  8. ^ "Councillor targeted in bomb attack", BBC News, 4 September 2002
Political offices
Preceded by
New position
Leader of the Labour Coalition
1996
Succeeded by
Malachi Curran
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