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'It's wonderful being Lord Mayor and it's great to meet all sorts of different people'

All the best: Garath Keating

By Kerry McKittrick

Published 03/10/2016

Garath Keating
Garath Keating

The 34-year-old Sinn Fein councillor is Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon. He lives in the city with his wife Shauna.

My best moment

I have two. The first is Armagh winning the All-Ireland Championship in 2002 and I was fortunate to be in the stands that day. It transcended everything else that year. The other one is a bit soppy, but it only happened in July -I got to marry my best friend of 18 years, Shauna.

My best song

Shauna and I are good friends with Sinead O'Carroll who sang with the group B*Witched back in the day. We went to see many of their Dublin gigs and, because we knew Sinead, got to go to some really cool parties and got VIP passes. Their song Blame It On The Weatherman reminds me of that time.

My best way to relax

I'm a bit of a foodie these days so eating out at a nice restaurant with friends and family is always a great way to chill out. There are some fantastic restaurants around Armagh and I'm particularly looking forward to Thursday's pop-up restaurant as part of Armagh's Festival of Food and Cider this week.

My best job

While I'm a solicitor by trade, I've done all sorts of jobs. The worst of which was on a working holiday to Australia - for the first two weeks I worked in the kitchen for an angry Russian chef. I had to clear rotten oysters out of the fridge in 45 degree heat. Being Lord Mayor is wonderful though and the best aspect of the role is getting out and meeting all sorts of different people and discovering what is going on locally.

My best advice

Always try and have fun and be as positive as you can. Another favourite is 'if you can make an eejit out of yourself then others won't do it for you'. They're just bits of uplifting advice really.

My best movie

In Bruges with Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell as it's a dark comedy with a wonderful screenplay. I'm also a fan of the Coen Brothers' version of True Grit. Again, it's got a marvellous screenplay and is nothing short of a masterpiece.

My best gift

Because of my love of the film In Bruges, Shauna and I visited the Belgian capital last year after we got engaged. While we were there she bought me a very nice black hat which I wear all the time.

My best achievement

Finishing my Masters' degree dissertation in European politics. It took me all summer to complete as I was also working full-time and I didn't want to do it. I got there in the end though.

My best buy

A lovely leather Chesterfield sofa bought from a charity shop for £100. It will take pride of place in our new house which we are moving into this week.

My best book

I'm reading an economics textbook called Capital In The Twenty First Century by Thomas Piketty. The book is now considered mainstream reading despite the nature of its contents.

Armagh's Festival of Food and Cider returns this week (October 5-9) and celebrates all that is homegrown and homemade in the Orchard County with events and activities for all tastes and ages including cookery classes, tours, a pop-up restaurant and more. For details visit armagh.co.uk/food.

Belfast Telegraph

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