Mid and East Antrim: veteran DUP councillor is new first citizen with Sinn Fein taking Deputy Mayor's post

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Veteran DUP Alderman Beth Adger MBE said she is looking forward to “furthering the interests of all our residents” after being appointed the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim.

The new first citizen was selected at Monday (June 3) evening’s annual general meeting of the local authority with Sinn Fein Councillor Breanainn Lyness taking on the role of Deputy Mayor.

In a statement, Ald Adger said: “I am delighted and deeply honoured to take on the role of mayor for Mid and East Antrim. It is a privilege to serve our community and I look forward to working closely with the Deputy Mayor to further the interests of all our residents.

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"Together, we aim to build on the achievements of our predecessors and continue to enhance the quality of life for all residents across our borough.

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Ald Beth Adger MBE and the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Breanainn Lyness. Pic supplied by Mid and East Antrim Borough CouncilThe Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Ald Beth Adger MBE and the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Breanainn Lyness. Pic supplied by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Ald Beth Adger MBE and the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Breanainn Lyness. Pic supplied by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council

“Our borough is rich in history, culture and natural beauty and I am committed to promoting and preserving these aspects while driving forward our economic development plans.

“Over the coming year, I plan to engage with local businesses, community groups and residents to ensure that we are all working together towards a shared vision for a prosperous future.

Wonderful Place

“I am also eager to support initiatives that will ensure Mid and East Antrim remains a wonderful place to live for generations to come. Additionally, I will be nominating a charity of the year soon and I look forward to rallying support for causes that make a significant difference in our community.”

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Previously, the Braid representative served as Deputy Mayor in 2019 and 2022.

Commenting after the AGM, Councillor Breanainn Lyness, said he “looks forward to continuing to represent Ballymena and its people” as he becomes his party’s first Deputy Mayor for Mid and East Antrim.

In an online post, Cllr Lyness stated: “In my role as Deputy Mayor, I will work for everyone and with everyone across Mid and East Antrim to support workers and families, to showcase our local businesses and community/sporting organisations and to highlight the positive work of this council.

“Working together in this council chamber and beyond, we can send out a positive message that Mid and East Antrim is a vibrant place to work and live in and a welcoming place for all.

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“Our differences should make us stronger and not divide us, as such my time as Deputy Mayor will be built on mutual respect and inclusivity, and I look forward to working with the Mayor over the next year.

It is truly an honour to have been selected by my party to serve as the Deputy Mayor for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. I want to thank my party for giving me the opportunity to work for communities across Mid and East Antrim.”

Cllr Lyness was elected to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in 2023. The outgoing Mayor is Alliance Coast Road Ald Gerardine Mulvenna and her Deputy was Bannside TUV Ald Stewart McDonald.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter