Tommy Sheppard |

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Tommy Sheppard

Philip Stanley Dickson

THERE is a recurring theme in politics that we must bemoan a time when our elected tribunes ceased to be rounded humans with a decent back-story and morphed into youngsters who were born into and never left the political village

You could never quite have said that of Tommy Sheppard, given his intriguing Ulster origins, but at one stage his political insider trajectory was almost a clichéd version of that type … university politics, the Labour Party, the National Union of Students, councillor, working for the party machine, then a Westminster career. Somewhere between the penultimate and final parts of that curriculum vitae Sheppard’s political career took some strange turns … a falling out with the Labour Party, the building of an acclaimed comedy club business, and a political reawakening during the independence referendum campaign … which make him an all the more interesting figure.

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