High Sheriff of Belfast
Several Members paid tribute to Councillor Verner, whose term as High Sheriff had ended in December, and congratulated her on carrying out her work during what had been a difficult year.
Councillor Verner expressed her appreciation for the support which she had received from the Civic Dignitaries, Members and officers over the course of the year and wished her successor, Councillor Long, well during his term as High Sheriff.
Councillor Flynn, Chairperson of the Brexit Committee, wished to put on record his thanks to the Council staff who had done their utmost in having kept residents and workers in the City so well-informed about the changes which were happening as a result of the United Kingdom having left the European Union.
Councillor Magennis requested that the Lord Mayor would send a letter of congratulations to the Antrim Hurling team, who had recently beaten Kerry. The Lord Mayor acceded to the request.
He also requested that the City Hall be lit up in the Antrim colours by way of celebrating their success, and the officers agreed to consider that request through the usual process.
Councillor Brooks congratulated Mount Merrion Parish Church for having been named as the National Churches Trust’s “Church of the Year 2020”. He thanked the Reverend Adrian Green and the Community Association, which was led by Ms. Marlene Dodds, who worked tirelessly for the community throughout the year and had continued to provide for the community throughout the pandemic.
Councillor M. Kelly congratulated Mr. M. Briggs, Executive Director of the East Belfast Community Development Agency, on having been appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year’s Honours List. She paid tribute to his tireless work, particularly through the pandemic.
Alderman Kingston also congratulated Mr. W. Humphrey MLA on having been appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year’s Honours List.
Councillor Hutchinson congratulated Mrs. J. Totten, Manager of North Belfast Alternatives, on having been appointed as a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) for her services to restorative justice and to community cohesion in Northern Ireland. He also paid tribute to the many volunteers who had quietly helped those who were in need during the pandemic. He paid special tribute to the work of the Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Paul McCusker, who was the co-ordinator of St. Patrick’s Soup kitchen.
The Lord Mayor advised the Members that he would be sending a letter to all Belfast recipients who had received recognition in the New Year’s Honours List.
Expressions of Sympathy
Councillor Donnelly expressed condolences to the family of Lucy McIlhatton, who was had tragically died in a traffic accident in the west of the City.
Councillor Ferguson advised the Council that the mother of Noah Donohoe, Fiona, had led a cavalcade to Stormont that evening, as she sought answers over the death of her son, and paid tribute to Fiona and extended condolences to her.
Councillors de Faoite and Howard expressed their disgust and solidarity with residents in Nashville, Tennessee, on the terror attack which had occurred in the City on Christmas Day, 2020. The Lord Mayor agreed to send a letter to the Mayor of Nashville to pass on his sympathies.
Change of Membership on Committees and Outside Bodies
The Chief Executive reported that notification had been received from the following Political Party of a change to membership of Committees/Outside Bodies:
· Councillor Mulholland to replace Councillor McAllister on the City Growth and Regeneration Committee.
The Council approved the change.