Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Lord Mayors mark the end of an era 1973 - 2015

By Gary Grattan

Belfast's current Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon and many others who held the privileged title as the city's first citizen were re-united today.

They gathered at the City hall for a unique event to mark the end of Belfast City Council in its present guise.

Formed in 1973, the council is set to be replaced at the beginning of next month by a new council as part of Local Government Reform - with increased powers and responsibility for a larger area.

Nichola Mallon, speaking at the event, said: "The contentious times we came through should not take away from the achievements of the various incarnations of the council, which played a pivotal role in bringing the city to where it is today.

"Belfast is now a city full of hope, full of ambition and with the potential to re-establish itself as a world-class city.

"The Tall Ships are coming back this summer and again record crowds are expected. And our maritime heritage, with Titanic Belfast at the centre, is playing a key role in attracting record numbers of tourists."

Almost 20 former Lord Mayors attended the event, among them Sammy Wiilson and Lord Browne of Belmont (DUP), Jim Rodgers and John Carson (UUP), David Cook and Naomi Long (Alliance), Tom Hartley (Sinn Fein) and Alban Magennis  (SDLP).

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