Fianna Fail has confirmed that a former Ulster Unionist councillor has joined its ranks.
Fianna Fail is now registered as a politcal party in NI
Harvey Bicker was first elected to Down District Council more than 10 years ago.
Fianna Fail, which is led by Irish premier Bertie Ahern, last year registered as a political party in Northern Ireland.
It was the first time in its 81-year history that efforts were made to mobilise on an all-Ireland basis.
There has long been speculation that the SDLP and Fianna Fail would eventually establish some sort of formal relationship.