FOR Dungannon woman, Denise Mullen, the cut and thrust of politics and elections is something which has been a part of her life since she was a young child.
Despite her childhood being cut cruelly short at the age of four when her father was gunned down by loyalists, Denise remembers helping her mother Olive, an SDLP activist, stick labels on election leaflets and envelopes years afterwards and describes the “great buzz” which pervaded the family home on election day.
Now a mum-of-two who runs her own jewellery and accessory business, Denise has taken the bold step of lining out as a candidate for the SDLP in this week’s council elections. And, even though she is recovering after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at the beginning of this year, Denise insists she is “fighting fit” and ready to face the challenge when polling starts on Thursday morning.
The Mullen family are one of a number who have launched legal proceedings against the government over claims they colluded with the infamous loyalist Glenanne Gang in the killings.
SDLP Branch Secretary Denis Mullen was shot dead in 1975. His funeral was attended by high profile figures from the party including Gerry Fitt and Austin Currie.