Published Monday, 09 September 2013
Joe Byrne pictured in 2011 (© Presseye)
Party leader Alasdair McDonnell also announced on Monday that deputy leader Dolores Kelly will represent the party on the Policing Board.
The appointments come after Mr McDevitt resigned from politics last week. He decided to step down after acknowledging that he had not declared a payment from a PR company he had worked for after he was elected to the south Belfast constituency.
Party chairman Mr Byrne is a former teacher from Omagh and is vice-chair of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.
"I am delighted to announce that Joe Byrne MLA will join Alex Attwood in representing the SDLP at the upcoming Haass talks," Mr McDonnell said.
"As a former Policing Board member and party chairman Joe has displayed an outstanding work ethic and commitment to resolve the challenges this society faces.
"Joe will provide a strong voice for ordinary people whose lives are so negatively affected by on-going conflict and contentious parades."
The party leader added: "Along with party colleague Alex Attwood I am confident Joe Byrne will enter the Haass talks determined to tackle and solve some of the deepest problems that are hindering our communities."
Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly, who served on the Policing Board from 2007 to 2009, takes up the position again following Mr McDevitt's departure.
In April 2010, she became chair of the Northern Ireland Assembly's Employment and Learning committee having formerly chaired the Environment committee.
"She brings significant experience to the role and will provide strong leadership and strong representation for the SDLP but more importantly for all of the people of this region," Mr McDonnell commented.
"We are facing challenging times in terms of how we are policed and I am confident that Dolores will provide the necessary leadership."
© UTV News