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Think of Belfast's 'forgotten citizens' - Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon's plea in festive message

A very festive-looking Lord Mayor has urged the people of Belfast to reach out to its "forgotten citizens" this Christmas.

Wrapped in a red robe from a charity event at which she was 'Mrs Claus', Nichola Mallon said she hoped we would remember those on the margins of society.

"In my role as Lord Mayor I have been privileged to meet with and be inspired by people and organisations who are doing wonderful work across our city," she said. "As well as thanking them, I wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year filled with hope and joy.

"But as we celebrate with our friends and family, I would urge everyone to remember our all too often forgotten citizens, those on the margins of our society.

"At this time of year, in particular, their plight is especially poignant. I would urge everyone to extend the hand of friendship to the vulnerable and those less fortunate.

"It's important to remember that at Christmas, while we are at home with our family, it's very different for those who are alone or without a roof over their heads. I never cease to be amazed by the compassion and generosity of people and organisations right across Belfast. I thank you for the good work you consistently do. Celebrating the Best of Belfast is the theme of my term in office and without question the people who call this city 'home' are our greatest asset."

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