Northern Ireland news

New Sinn Féin lord mayor takes up chain of office in Belfast

Oldpark Sinn Féin councillor Ryan Murphy has been appointed lord mayor of Belfast
Paul Ainsworth

NORTH Belfast councillor Ryan Murphy has become the tenth Sinn Féin lord mayor of the city, vowing to be a "mayor for all".

He was appointed to the role at Monday's annual meeting of Belfast City Council.

The 28-year-old is one of the youngest councillors in the city to become lord mayor, and replaces party colleague Tina Black in the post.

Botanic councillor Áine Groogan was appointed deputy lord mayor, becoming the first member of the Green Party to hold a mayoral position anywhere in the north.


Áine Groogan has become the first Green Party councillor to hold a mayoral position in the north, becoming Belfast's new deputy lord mayor


Upon donning the chain of office, Mr Murphy paid tribute to his predecessor, and also to voters in the Oldpark ward for re-electing him last month.

"I'm very much of the belief that showing positive leadership, building reconciliation, respect and prosperity in this society is a collective responsibility," he said.

"As first citizen of Béal Feirste, I will grasp that huge opportunity to demonstrate that positive leadership.

"We believe in the concept of a mayor for all; we believe that every citizen in this region has the right to have their voice heard and their aspirations respected."

Ms Groogan paid tribute to outgoing deputy mayor Michelle Kelly and her role in highlighting the issue of miscarriage and baby loss, and said she wanted to work for a "cleaner, greener, fairer" Belfast.

She added she was “looking forward to a positive year”, adding she wished to “shine a light on the incredible community organisations, the bustling arts and cultural scene, and the environmental activists who are leading the fightback for this city”.

Meanwhile, Mid and East Antrim Council has appointed Alliance councillor Gerardine Mulvenna as mayor of the borough at its annual general meeting on Monday.

She takes over the role from party colleague Noel Williams.

Alderman Mulvenna, who represents the Coast Road DEA, said becoming mayor was the "honour of my life".

The TUV's Alderman Stewart McDonald was appointed the borough's deputy mayor.

In Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Sinn Féin's Valerie Harte was appointed chairperson for the incoming year, with the SDLP's Gareth Sharvin taking the deputy chairperson's role.

At Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough's AGM on Monday, Portadown DUP councillor Margaret Tinsley was appointed mayor, while Lurgan Sinn Féin rep Sorchá McGeown was named deputy mayor.

Northern Ireland news