Banbridge DUP councillor Paul Greenfield was on Monday expected to be named the borough’s new Deputy Lord Mayor, with Sinn Fein to take the top chair.
As The Leader went to press, ahead of last night’s Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council annual general meeting, SF’s Councillor Garath Keating was tipped as the new Lord Mayor, succeeding the DUP’s Councillor Darren Causby.
Mr Greenfield, meanwhile, emerged from a recent party selection meeting as the DUP’s nominee for Deputy Lord Mayor, a role in which he would succeed SF’s Councillor Catherine Seeley.
Under the D’Hont system the DUP, as the council’s largest party, held the Lord Mayoral position for 2015/16 and the Deputy Lord Mayoral post for 2016/17, while this year the role of first citizen must go to Sinn Fein.
The party’s Mr Keating, a Queen’s University law graduate who also holds a master’s degree in public policy, worked in a law firm for more than five years.
The 34-year-old was co-opted onto the Armagh legacy council in 2013 and elected to the new ABC Council two years ago.
He is party group leader in the council and works for the Sinn Fein constituency advice office in Armagh.
He formerly worked in the Assembly team as a political adviser to MLA Cathal Boylan.
Following his nomination as Deputy Lord Mayor, Mr Greenfield said: “I am humbled and honoured to have been selected for this position and would like to thank my party colleagues for putting their faith in me to conduct this important role.
“As a councillor in Banbridge I have sought to represent the whole community and in my role as Deputy Lord Mayor will continue in that vein to be a representative for all the citizens of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon.”
The DUP councillor also paid tribute to the outgoing Lord Mayor.
“I would like to place on record my thanks and congratulations to Councillor Darren Causby on his successful and progressive year as Lord Mayor,” he said. “I see this as the next step on my political journey and I want to build on the foundations laid down last year. I look forward to embracing this role and carrying out my civic duties in the year ahead. “
Committee chairs and vice-chairs were also be elected and positions of responsibility allocated at Monday night’s meeting.