Northern Ireland

SDLP's Nichola Mallon to be new Belfast lord mayor

Nichola Mallon
Image caption Nichola Mallon is set to be Belfast's first female nationalist lord mayor

The SDLP's Nichola Mallon has been nominated by her party to replace Máirtín Ó Muilleoir as lord mayor of Belfast.

It is the SDLP's turn to hold the position.

The decision is expected to be ratified at the next full meeting of Belfast City Council.

Ms Mallon would be the first female nationalist lord mayor of Belfast. She said she was "deeply honoured" to receive the nomination.

"This will be a very important year for Belfast as we continue to progress and promote our city on the world stage," she said.

"I aim to showcase everything that is good about Belfast; its young people, its elderly and I intend to open up city hall, making it more accessible to the underprivileged and bringing the lord mayor's role out into the community."

Ms Mallon is a councillor for the Oldpark area of north Belfast.

Meanwhile, Alliance councillor Maire Hendron has been selected by her party to serve as the next deputy lord mayor.

"I look forward to working closely with the new lord mayor, Nichola Mallon," she said.

"It gives me great pride that two women will be the lord mayor and deputy lord mayor for the next year, something that I do not believe has occurred before."

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