I wish my mum could see me: New Belfast Lord Mayor Daniel Baker takes chain of office
Belfast's newest First Citizen dedicated his nomination to the role to his late mum, who died of cancer just four months ago.
Sinn Fein's Daniel Baker - known as Danny - was installed as Belfast Lord Mayor at a City Hall ceremony.
Councillor Baker's appointment comes just four months after the passing of his mother Edna (nee Mulholland), who died of cancer on August 8.
"I wish my mum could see me now," he said dedicating his nomination for the role to her.
On taking the chains of office he spoke of how he was from "both divisions" with his mother from the Newtownards Road and his father from Sailortown and pledged to represent all.
"I am looking forward to branching out and seeing all parts of the city. I really will do all I can," he said.
He was described as "a proven community activist" by predecessor John Finucane who relinquished the role on his election as North Belfast MP. Mr Finucane said the 37-year-old will be dedicated to Belfast and be an "exceptional mayor for all".
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"I’m pleased to be taking over the chain of office from John and look forward to continuing his great work in the year ahead," said Lord Mayor Baker.
"I will work as Lord Mayor for all communities, particularly those affected by poverty and unemployment. I will be a champion for improvements in mental health services, and continue to work on climate resilience in our city."
Mr Baker is the son of Joe and one of five boys - with brothers Eddie, Sam, Joseph and the late baby David.
He is also a father of two boys and a girl and from the Twinbrook area of the city.
His cousin Shauneen Baker is also a Belfast councillor for the Oldpark ward in north Belfast.
"I am grateful to those who have nominated me for this position. I am honoured and humbled," he added.
"I want to thank my family and community for their support, I want to do everyone proud.
"Belfast is the rainbow city. It is made up of a diverse and vibrant population. It is a city on the rise and one that I am immensely proud to be a citizen of.
"As mayor, I will strive to represent all citizens equally."
He was congratulated by recently re-elected MP Paul Maskey on taking up the role.
"He will continue on with the positivity of past Sinn Fein mayors representing all of the city,"
— Paul Maskey (@PaulMaskeyMP) December 17, 2019
Danny will be a great Mayor for our city, he will continue on with the positivity of past Sinn Féin mayors representing all of the city. Well done @danzer_82 https://t.co/fQlulY0MfB
Mr Baker is a former pupil of De La Salle Secondary School in west Belfast and graduated from Queen's University Belfast with a degree in politics.
As a councillor, he represents the Collin ward, where he topped the poll in May's local government election.
He has been a Sinn Fein activist since 2005, he previously served as the party's director of elections in the west of Belfast. He first entered the council to replace David Bell after he stepped down in December 2017.
John Finucane held the post of Lord Mayor since May, taking up the role days after he was first elected to the city council for the Castle ward in the north of the city.
Belfast Telegraph Digital