Roisin Mulgrew appointed new Council Chairperson

June 5, 2017

Sinn Fein Councillor Roísín Mulgrew has been appointed as the new Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council.

Taking the chain of the First Citizen at Thursday’s third annual meeting of NMDDC, Councillor Mulgrew said,

“It is my honour tonight to be elected to serve as the new Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.  This occasion is made even more special by the support of my family and fellow party members with whom I have campaigned for many years and without their hard work and dedication I would not be here today.  This position is an opportunity to pursue and achieve real change for the people in our area.”

Speaking about the year ahead Councillor Mulgrew said she intends to place the uncertain future of Daisy Hill Hospital and “the looming threat of service closure at the forefront of local politics, empowering and supporting the inspiring grassroots activity of recent years.”

“I will use my year in office to bring together the wealth of ideas, the energy and the efforts of community groups, the staff of Daisy Hill, our trade unions and local businesses into one unified campaign,” she added.

“I will ensure that as a community we speak effectively with a single voice to save Daisy Hill and all of our health care facilities throughout the district which are under threat; they are at the heart of our community.”

Councillor Mulgrew outlined the importance of standing against Brexit, which she said will “define social, economic and political life in this region for a generation” disrupting the way of life and livelihoods of border communities in particular and she added that her chosen charities this year will reflect the “unceasing effort and the vast network of community activists throughout the district.”

“I look forward to tackling these challenges supported by a talented and dedicated Deputy Chair, Councillor William Clarke and indeed the whole Council team,” concluded the new Chairperson.

Sinn Fein Councillor Clarke, who was appointed the role of Deputy Chair at Thursday’s meeting, congratulated Councillor Mulgrew on becoming the district’s First Citizen, saying,

“I will do all I can in my role as Deputy Chairperson, to support Councillor Mulgrew. My congratulations also go to Councillor Fitzpatrick on the high energy role she undertook as Chairperson and to Councillor Craig for his role as Deputy Chair.”

Setting out his priorities for the year, Councillor Clarke said he would endeavour to “continue the healing process in communities and work with new citizens and ethnic groups within the district” as well as disadvantaged groups so that resources can be directed to those that need them most.

“My sincere thanks go to my party for nominating me for this role, I am honoured and humbled to be Deputy Chair of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.”

Outgoing Chairperson, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick thanked the public for embracing her throughout her year adding that she “truly had an amazing epic experience this year.”

“I would like to thank Councillor Garth Craig for his work as Deputy Chair and for his support throughout the year, and to the Chief Executive, Mr Liam Hannaway and Directors for their guidance and counsel.  I cannot end my year in office without mentioning the Democratic Services team without whom I couldn’t have conducted my business.  They worked tirelessly to ensure that I was able to attend so many events across the entire district as well as organising my recent Chairperson’s Charity Ball, which was a truly successful event. I am delighted with the funds which we raised for my chosen charities and the donations will be presented in due course.”

Describing her year in office as “tremendous, enjoyable, heart rendering, thoughtful and at times tough” Councillor Fitzpatrick thanked all the individuals, community groups, voluntary groups and business people she had met this year and wished the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson all the very best in their roles before thanking the SDLP for putting her forward and trusting her with the position of First Citizen.

Outgoing Deputy Chairperson, Councillor Garth Craig said it had been “an honour to serve the district”  and he thanked Councillor Fitzpatrick “for her tireless work” and Chief Executive, Liam Hannaway and his team for their support, as well as the Democratic Services team and his Party colleagues.