Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sinn Féin select 25 year old Niall Ó Donnghaile to be Lord Mayor

Niall Ó Donnghaile was only elected to Belfast City Council three weeks ago, but tonight was confirmed as Sinn Féin’s choice for Lord Mayor. He turns 26 at the weekend. Under the d’Hondt rotation, Sinn Féin will get three Lord Mayors during the next four years.

Sinn Féin's Niall Ó Donnghaile interviewed in the Waterfront Hall, overlooking Titanic Quarter, Stormont and East Belfast/Short Strand

Niall is a press officer with Sinn Féin up at the Assembly, and councillor for Pottinger. During his year in office, he’ll be able to welcome Sinn Féin’s Ard Fheis to Belfast’s Waterfront when it visits in September.

Update - In case you're wondering, here's how Niall pronounces his name - it's not as difficult as people make out.


Back in November 2009, I interviewed Niall and we talked about changes East Belfast, how Sinn Féin was developing, as well as what attracted him into the world of politics.

I asked him whether he was hopeful that there would ever be enough of a vote to get a Sinn Féin candidate elected in East Belfast?

I don’t think it’s impossible, especially with what we alluded to earlier on and the changing nature of East Belfast. Once Titanic Quarter is finished, once Sirocco Quays is finished, this constituency is going to be dramatically different in terms of its makeup.

All the parties will be fishing in that pool, not just Sinn Féin. But I would be confident that if we can be strong enough, if we can be articulate enough and relevant enough in East Belfast particularly in relation to the developments that are going to happen behind me, I think eventually you’ll see the numbers there to elect a Sinn Féin representative whoever that may be.

But for me elections are important … If you are a politico like myself, they can be enjoyable and they can be a good experience, but I don’t need to be elected to do work for people on the ground and whether I am elected or unelected that won’t stop me either way. Some people do work to get elected. Others get elected to do work.

You can read the full interview in a previous post.

Cross posted from Slugger O'Toole.

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