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All the best with Arder Carson

We ask local celebrities what are their most favourite things

The 55-year-old Sinn Fein councillor is the first Lord Mayor of the new Belfast super-council. He is single and has six children; Claire (36), Emma (33), Christopher (31), Noleen (30), Bronagh (18) and Rachael (16).

My best moment

It sounds corny, but it has to be the births of each of my children. You don’t know what love is until your baby is born. I’ve had six children and it’s still special each time one of them comes into the world. The experience was just the same.

My best song

The Happening by Diana Ross and the Supremes. I picked that one because it reminds me of when I was a child and the youngest in the house. My two sisters were into Motown music, so when I hear that it takes me back to being in the house with my family.

My best way to relax

I like to enjoy a half decent football match with a couple of cold beers sitting on the sofa. That, or the odd chance I get to have a walk along the coastline.

My best job

It was also my first job — I was an apprentice butcher, then working in a butcher’s shop for another 10 years on the Glen Road in Belfast. The job was freezing and had long hours, but the craic I had with people was mighty. That’s where I learned my people skills.

My best advice

It’s short and sweet and was given to me by my mum when I started out as a butcher. She told me, “the harder you work, the luckier you get”.

My best gift

A Dawes bicycle which Santa brought me more years ago than I care to remember. Back in the Sixties, it was a big deal to get your own wheels — and boy, did I enjoy racing up the street showing off what was my best ever Christmas present.  Happy memories that have stayed with me even to this day.

My best achievement

Becoming Lord Mayor of Belfast. Even being at City Hall wasn’t part of the conversation when I was growing up. Being Lord Mayor is a privilege and it’s an honour to do it. People who know me and those who don’t have all congratulated me on the success of it. It’s a really inspiring job, because you get to see the positive side of the city and the people who drive it forward.

My best buy

I’m going with the first car I ever bought myself. It’s a 1998 Ford Focus. It’s one year older than my youngest child, and it’s now like one of my own children and, like my children, it has never let me down.

Best film

The Killing Fields — it’s about conflict, but I loved the human connections in the film. It’s a true story and I really enjoyed it

Best book

I’m not much of a fiction reader, so my favourite book is Audrey Rose by Frank De Felitta. It’s the true story of a man who loses his daughter only to be told she’s been reincarnated. It’s a brilliant read and it’s been made into a film starring Anthony Hopkins

Belfast Telegraph


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