New Sinn Féin Mayor of Belfast

I see that Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Hartley has been elected as the new Mayor of Belfast.

This was achieved in spite of an attempt by the DUP to cast aside the powersharing in Belfast by electing Diane Dodd's as Mayor.

Diane Dodd's? I mean, come on! A cucumber has more of a personality.

This sectarian carve up by the DUP and other Unionist's failed because Reg Empey was absent and because UUP councillor Davy Browne refused to vote for Diane Dodd's and instead abstained for "personal reasons".

As a result Sinn Féin voted on mass for Davy Browne as Deputy Mayor. Davy Browne or Dáithí de Brún as he is sometimes called once caused a stir by voting for a United Ireland in Belfast City Council.

The DUP, as usual, were foaming at the mouth but I say hell slap it up them!!

Upon being elected Tom Hartley had this to say

“I live in a great city, made great by its citizens."

“Our city is on the cusp of major change; we face many new challenges as we strive to build a prosperous and vibrant Belfast. This requires the contribution of all the citizens of Belfast. As civic leaders, we have an obligation to seek out new opportunities through a meaningful relationship with our business community.''

“As Lord Mayor, I will engage and practice and operate within a broad understanding of citizenship. This will entail building on a democratic, progressive and inclusive politic.

“It will be my aim to encourage openness and ownership of the city`s civic institutions. Ownership of the city must be felt by all the citizens of Belfast. In particular, it needs to be extended to the disadvantaged, the underprivileged, and the marginalised.''

“Ownership must be felt by ethnic minorities, travellers, the new Beal Feirstians, and by our senior citizens and our young people, by members of the gay and lesbian community, by women, by the disabled and by marginalised working class communities”.

This is just the kind of direction which Belfast needs, I'm glad that it will be Sinn Féin providing that leadership.

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