Northern Ireland news

Sinn Féin's John Finucane set to be next Belfast lord mayor

John Finucane was elected as a councillor in north Belfast
Staff Reporter

NEWLY elected Sinn Féin councillor John Finucane is set to become Belfast’s next lord mayor.

The son of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane was elected on the first count in the Castle area in the council elections this month.

His nomination for the top post by Sinn Féin comes just months after the 30th anniversary of his father’s killing in front of his wife and children. A long-time campaigner for a public inquiry in the case, he had said his father was in his thoughts as he waited to find out if he had been elected to the city council.

Sinn Féin has held the lord mayor post on six occasions including current mayor Deirdre Hargey. As the council’s largest party, it is entitled to take the chain twice in the next four years under the D’Hondt mechanism.

Read More: John Finucane says his father 'in my thoughts' as he's elected to Belfast City Council

Mr Finucane is expected to be nominated by Sinn Fein at the annual general meeting of the council next Tuesday and to be confirmed as lord mayor in a vote.

The solicitor and former Antrim goalkeeper, who previously contested the Westminster election in North Belfast but lost out to the DUP’s Nigel Dodds, said he was honoured to be put forward.

Sinn Fein's John Finucane with party leader Michelle O'Neill at the council elections this month. Picture by Matt Mackey/Press Eye

“If elected, I will build on the legacy of Deirdre Hargey and put human rights and social justice at the heart of my term in office; standing up for the rights of all,” he said.

His party’s council group leader, Ciaran Beattie, said his colleague was “a fearless defender and promoter of human rights and social justice and will ensure the rights of all are promoted and upheld”.

Read More: Pat Finucane murder: Taoiseach urges Theresa May to do 'the right thing' and hold public inquiry

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