NI21 candidate switches to Alliance

Ms Olorunda
Ms Olorunda

A former NI21 local council candidate who lost her father in an IRA bomb blast has joined the Alliance Party.

Jayne Olorunda, 34, was only two when her Nigerian-born father, Max Olorunda, was killed by an incendiary device on board a train from Ballymena to Belfast in 1980.

Her announcement comes as Irish publishers Maverick release her book Legacy. The book tells the story of her family’s decision to remain in Northern Ireland after the devastating incident.

Ms Olorunda joined NI21 earlier this year but, like many others attracted by the promise of “fresh politics”, left the party in recent weeks – not long after it imploded in the run-up to the council and European elections

Explaining her decision, she said: “I left NI21 straight after the election by email on May 25, after this many events began to unfold and the party seemed to be imploding. However, I still wanted to be part of something that stood for change and that’s why after speaking with representatives from the Alliance Party I became a member of the party.”

Despite her disillusionment with NI21, she said she is “a big supporter of John McCallister”, the deputy leader, and that the party could recover with Mr McCallister’s help.

Ms Olorunda said she is now “concentrating on getting her story out there” so that she can help other victims in similar situations.

She said: “Maverick took the book on as soon as I sent it to them. I was looking for an Irish publisher and one that doesn’t shy away from real issues.”