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Lord Mayor Deirdre Hargey was elected to office on 4 June 2018. Councillor Hargey has been a Member of Belfast City Council since 2010 when she took over the Laganbank seat. She was elected in 2011 and again in May 2014, this time representing the Botanic DEA. Within Belfast City Council, Councillor Hargey is Sinn Fein’s party group leader and chair of the Women’s Steering Group.
In her first speech, she promises to promote Belfast as open, inclusive and welcoming place. She said her theme for the year ahead would be “Changing Belfast and a changing Ireland” around a rights-based society based on equality at its core. The mayor wants to develop a rights-based approach where equality is embedded within the Council. I want to advance on the rights issues of Irish language, marriage equality, LGBT rights, women’s rights and workers rights.
She will continue the good work on the council's new 5 year Language Strategy which aims to make Belfast a more inclusive, welcoming and diverse city that was launched just a month before she was elected for the new mayor of Belfast. Besides this, growing tourism is one of the council’s key priorities and Mrs. Hargey has ambitious targets to double the value of tourism to the city to 870 million pounds per year by 2020.
Mayor Hargey also sits on a number of outside bodies including NILGA, Visit Belfast, South Belfast Partnership Board and the Markets Community Centre Committee.