Movember: Belfast Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir becomes a Mo Bro, seeks moustache tips
Belfast's Lord Mayor is going Mexican, but it's all in the name of a good cause.
Mairtin O Muilleoir has become a Mo Bro by growing a moustache since the start of the month in support of the worldwide Movember effort to raise awareness of and money for men's health.
The Sinn Fein councillor, who sported a moustache in his 20s, was aiming to raise £300 for the men's mental health programmes of the Pips charity in Belfast, but just halfway through November has already reached his target.
He said he was inspired after visiting Pips offices on the Antrim Road where he said he was "bowled over by the enthusiasm, compassion and dedication of its team".
Pips provides support services for people in suicidal crisis and those affected by suicide, as well as specialised support for young people bereaved through suicide and care services to help people engage successfully with long-term mental health care.
As for the moustache itself, Mr O Muilleoir said that it has certainly been a talking point so far, particularly when he was in North America last week. The Lord Mayor visited a number of cities, including Toronto in Canada, on a tour with Visit Belfast to promote the city.
"They haven't really heard of Movember in North America so they were very interested to hear why I was growing a moustache," he told the Belfast Telegraph.
"So I am spreading the word in North America too."
When asked if there was any particular style of moustache he was aiming for, such as the distinctive handlebar style that last year's Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson grew, Mr O Muilleoir laughed.
"He is younger and more ambitious than me," he said.
"I think mine is more of a Mexican style but I am open to grooming tips from any experts out there.
"Get in touch and tell me how best to do this," he said.
Originating in Melbourne, Australia, Movember is an annual, month-long event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate cancer.
Participants, known as Mo Bros, are sponsored to grow a moustache during November for men's health charities.
Last year Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson raised £4,000 during Movember.