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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Mayor of Belfast

Nichola Mallon (born 23 August 1979) is an Irish SDLP politician from
Northern Ireland. She served as the Lord Mayor of Belfast for the term 2014-15. She was the first female Irish nationalist politician to hold the position

Despite only having served six years as an elected representative in Belfast City Council, Mary Ellen Campbell is no stranger to the sweeping hallways and grandeur of City Hall.

As a young child her father, who worked as a porter for the city, regularly would have had her six sisters and four bothers in his place of work.

Adopted when her birth mother passed away just a month before her fifth birthday, Mary Ellen says that she has a lot to be thankful for in the support shown to her by her large, close-knit family, made up of an extraordinary 64 nephews and nieces, 39 great nephews and nieces and even one great great niece.

It’s a source of great sadness to her that her dad passed away before he could see his daughter take her place as a councillor for the Castle ward in 2010. But the pride that he would known was felt many times over by her large family last week, when she announced to that she was to become Deputy Lord Mayor in June.

“Sometimes when I am walking around City Hall I can’t help thinking how proud he would have been and how much he would have loved what I am doing,” said Mary Ellen.

“He died in 2003 and he was an amazing guy. He would have always said that I would have been a good councillor and always had a project for me to help out others, whether it was a neighbour or a friend in the pub. I think my dad’s past is now an advantage for me because I see City Hall very much as a place of work, from the minute I arrived I knew it was a place to work and a place to deliver for constituents.”

Speaking openly in a rare in-depth interview about her life as a republican activist, and now an elected representative in North Belfast, Mary Ellen said that she would use her year in office to promote visibility around equality.
Her appointment also marks another important milestone for the city of Belfast, as she will become the city’s first ever openly gay holder of civic office.


Belfast, is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, the second-largest city in Ireland after Dublin, and is situated around the River Lagan, which runs through the city. At the 2011 census, it had a population of 286,000. 2015 council boundary reforms increased the population to 333,841. Belfast was granted city status in 1888.

Belfast was a centre of the Irish linen, tobacco processing, rope-making and shipbuilding industries: in the early 20th century, Harland and Wolff, which built the RMS Titanic, was the biggest and most productive shipyard in the world. Belfast played a key role in the Industrial Revolution, and was a global industrial centre until the latter half of the 20th century. Industrialisation and the inward migration it brought made Belfast the biggest city in Ireland at the beginning of the 20th century.

Today, Belfast remains a centre for industry, as well as the arts, higher education, business, and law, and is the economic engine of Northern Ireland. The city suffered greatly during the period of conflict called "the Troubles", but latterly has undergone a sustained period of calm, free from the intense political violence of former years, and substantial economic and commercial growth. Additionally, Belfast city centre has undergone considerable expansion and regeneration in recent years, notably around Victoria Square.

Belfast is served by two airports: George Best Belfast City Airport in the city, and Belfast International Airport 15 miles (24 km) west of the city. Belfast is a major port, with commercial and industrial docks dominating the Belfast Lough shoreline, including the Harland and Wolff shipyard, and is listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network (GaWC) as a global city.

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