The tale of the first meeting of the newly amalgamated Derry-Strabane Council last night was that for the first time a Strabane politician will take charge in Derry’s Guildhall.
Sinn Fein Councillor Maolissa McHugh was installed as the first Presiding Officer for the new local authority which will become active in April next year but will continue to meet in ‘shadow’ form until then. His election as the leader of the new council was also historic in that it effectively scrapped the role of Mayor of Derry which has existed for four centuries.
Alderman Maurice Devenney of the DUP was made Deputy Presiding Officer.
What follows are the opinions of Councillors Darren O’Reilly (Ind) and Shauna Cusack and Angela Dobbins of the SDLP before and after last nights inaugural meeting.