New Mayor and Deputy Mayor announced
Thursday, 6 June 2013
THE Roe Valley's new Mayor and Deputy Mayor were announced at the Annual General Meeting of Limavady Borough Council on Monday night. Sinn Fein Councillor Cathal McLaughlin handed the chain of office over to the SDLP's Gerry Mullan while the DUP's James McCorkell replaced party colleague Alan Robinson as Deputy Mayor.
Before council business got underway, members held a minute's silence for Drummer Lee Rigby who was murdered outside his barracks in Woolwich, South East London on May 22. The proposal came from Cllr Edwin Stevenson who also called for letter to be written to Mr Rigby's family expressing sympathy following their loss.
In his first address as Mayor, Gerry Mullan said: "Arthur Doherty was the man who first introduced me to politics.
“He, himself was a former Councillor and the first Nationalist Mayor of Limavady. Unfortunately, both him and his wife Mary are no longer with us but I believe that if he were here tonight he would, in his own inimitable, thought-provoking way, comment on the fact that he was the first Nationalist Mayor of Limavady and if history unfolds in the way that we all believe it will, that I will be the last Nationalist Mayor, together we will have represented the 'Alpha and the Omega' - the first and the last as far as the SDLP Mayorships of Limavady is concerned.
"I believe that he would have been very touched by that and for that reason I wish to dedicate this incredible honour that has been bestowed on me tonight in their honour.
"There are many others to whom I also owe a great debt of gratitude - they include my Council colleagues Cllrs Michael Coyle and Orla Beattie and members of our local branch. I am humbled to have been nominated by them for the position of Mayor of Limavady for the next year and I fully intend to repay their trust and confidence in me with sheer hard work and determination.
“Dessie Lowry, another former SDLP Councillor whom I replaced as the Councillor for Limavady town, and his wife Bernadette have both become very dear friends of the family and are a constant source of support and advice to me.
“In conclusion, I intend to work to the best of my ability with my colleagues in Limavady Borough Council regardless of religion or political affiliation in the best interest of the community that we have all been elected to serve.
"The scale and pace of change recently in almost every sector of public life has been breathtaking and never has there been such a need for political unity in the face of such ravishing welfare reform cuts which will undoubtedly continue to have a devastating effect on the most vulnerable members of our community for years to come.
“Major changes are also happening within the Health and Education sectors, as well as a total overhaul of local government structures which is likely to render local Councils unrecognisable from their current form; all very major issues which will drastically affect everyone from the very young to the oldest person in our local Care Homes including those that are out of work with no job prospects ahead of them, small local businesses that are hanging on by their fingernails to survive in an ever increasingly difficult economic environment and young single parents who are likely to be forced to pay for additional rooms.
"These issues are but some of the serious difficulties affecting the daily lives of those we represent and which requires, in my opinion, elected politicians to leave aside any petty political baggage and work together in the interests of everyone.
“Divisive issues such as flags and emblems that have divided our communities in the past should not be allowed to divert our attention from the real important issues that need our undivided attention; no amount of salt, pepper, red sauce or brown can possibly make a flag even the slightest bit more palatable but determined combined efforts by local Councillors could well be the difference that people may need to make their lives that little bit more bearable.
“I intend to meet the challenges of my position face-on with the help and support of family, friends party colleagues and council staff.
“I also intend to equally embrace the wonderful opportunities such as those that the 'City of Culture' year may present.
“It promises to be a year full of challenges and hard work - counter-balanced with wonderful opportunities and I intend to embrace both in equal measure."
Meanwhile, new Deputy Mayor, Cllr James McCorkell vowed to give his "full commitment" to his new role.
Send to a friend
Please complete the following form to inform a friend about this page.