SDLP Councillor Mealla Campbell has been elected Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, at the local authority’s AGM.
At the meeting, DUP Councillor Margaret Tinsley was elected as Deputy Lord Mayor.
These appointments mark two historic firsts for the local authority.
Councillor Campbell is the first SDLP elected representative to hold the senior civic role, and this is the first time that two women are at the helm of Northern Ireland’s second largest council.
Cllr. Campbell was first elected to Armagh City and District Council in 2005 and went on to serve as Deputy Mayor during 2011-12.
She got involved in politics at an early age and has worked in the offices of John Hume, Seamus Mallon and Brid Rodgers in different roles. She was re-elected to the new larger council in 2014.
In the last council term, she served as Chair of the Planning and Regulatory Services Committee in 2016/17 and is the outgoing Vice-Chair of the Leisure and Community Services Committee.
Vowing to carry on the good work of outgoing Lord Mayor Julie Flaherty, Cllr. Campbell said: “It’s a tremendous honour and privilege to be elected Lord Mayor and I am determined to fulfil this important role to the best of my ability.
“My drive and passion to help people is what spurred me to become a councillor.
“I’m really looking forward to getting out and about, meeting residents right across the borough, finding out about their projects and learning about what’s important to them, and doing all I can to represent all citizens.
“As well as continuing council efforts to attract more investment and grow the economy, I want to work with community groups, schools, clubs, charities and businesses to ensure their needs are being met.”
During her term in office, Councillor Campbell, who lost her brother to stomach cancer in 2016 after a very short illness, will support a children’s cancer charity as well as a charity which promotes mental health awareness.