Due to be known within the next few weeks, the name of the new ABC (Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon) local authority might have been ‘Orange County’ Council, had one member’s recent suggestion found favour.
Born of the fact that the Orange Order was established in the area and Armagh GAA team play in that colour, the suggestion stumbled for its exclusion of Banbridge and the small section of Lagan Valley within the new council’s boundaries; it was also deemed too political.
The name must be agreed soon so that logos, corporate image and official stationery can be designed.
With Armagh members pressing to keep the city’s name in the title, not least thanks to all 41 councillors’ desire to retain its ‘Lord Mayor’ honour, the favourites are ‘Armagh City and Bann Council’ and ‘Armagh City and Upper Bann Council’.
Armagh was granted Lord Mayoral status three years ago with the DUP’s Freda Donnelly the first incumbent, followed by Sharon Haughey-Grimley (SDLP), Robert Turner (UUP) and currently SF’s Cathy Rafferty.
Armagh was one of the first councils to embrace the D’Hondt method of sharing top posts and with D’Hondt imposed on all 11 of the new ‘shadow’ councils, all has been calm with ABC deliberations.
The DUP’s Darryn Causby (Craigavon) was elevated to the chair and that same party will inherit the Lord Mayoral title next year, provided it remains.