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It's a baptism of fire for Belfast's new first citizen

Published 13/06/2012

They say a week is a long time in politics, but spare a thought for Belfast's new Lord Mayor who has admitted he had to "hit the ground running" with so many civic duties to perform.

DUP Mayor Gavin Robinson received a baptism of civil fire with the city's hosting of the Olympic torch relay and the the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations.

Just seven days after being elected new mayor of Belfast, it's been a hectic time admits the city's new first citizen.

"Having been elected as Lord Mayor on Friday afternoon, I was quite willingly thrust into a whirlwind schedule of jubilee and Olympic torch-related engagements," he said this week.

"And I am pleased to say that even though it's just the beginning, I am thoroughly enjoying every moment of these first few days in office."

Mayor Robinson whose wife Lindsay celebrated her birthday over the jubilee weekend said that the couple had enjoyed meeting and greeting the city's citizens.

"With Lindsay and I meeting people from across the city and beyond - whether it be at street parties, tea dances, carnival events at city hall, the lighting of the beacon at Lagan Weir or on the streets of Belfast to welcome the Olympic torch - we have felt honoured to play a role in our city's celebrations," he said.

"I am proud that so many locals were able to join in the fun to mark such a special anniversary."

He said the Olympic torch in Belfast was an iconic occasion.

"It was a huge privilege to stand on stage in front of more than 7,000 spectators to proudly support our Olympic heroes and welcome that iconic flame into the heart of Northern Ireland."

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From Belfast Telegraph