Sinn Féin Colr. Sandra Duffy expected to be new Mayor of Derry & Strabane

Sinn Féin Council Group leader Sandra Duffy is to be nominated as the new Mayor of Derry & Strabane, the Journal understands.

Ballyarnett representative Councillor Duffy is expected to take over the chain of office as First Citizen for the 2022-23 term from current Mayor Graham Warke at a ceremony during the Council’s Annual General Meeting.

Under d’Hondt system, Sinn Féin are next in line for the Mayorship, which will change hands at the meeting on Monday, June 6.

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Sandra Duffy has been a Councillor for the past eight years, having first been elected to the Council to represent the Ballyarnett Ward in 2014 with a strong mandate.

Sinn Fein Councillor Sandra Duffy.

She has been an ardent campaigner on social issues including ‘period poverty’, and made history in 2018 by ensuring Derry and Strabane Council became the first in Ireland to provide free period products in as many sporting grounds and public buildings as possible.

Working in the housing sector for over 20 years, Sandra Duffy leads outreach services within First Housing, addressing homelessness among young people and those with complex needs that require an intense service.

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In her senior role in Council, Colr. Duffy is known as a leading voice in championing the North West as a good place to live, work and socialise, and has chaired the North West Regional Development Group, which drives economic cooperation in the NW. She has also taken on the chair of the PCSP and has campaigned extensively on road safety.

Sandra Duffy is tipped to be the new Mayor of Derry & Strabane.

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Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy pictured previously with party leader Mary Lou McDonald.

Sandra Duffy has had extensive involvement across the statutory, community and voluntary sectors and has been a board member of Advice North West for over ten years.

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She also works with the Western Trust in relation to wider health and social services for the City and District.

Outside her civic duties, Colr Duffy is also heavily involved in St. Joseph’s Amateur Boxing Club. She also sits on Greater Shantallow Area Partnership Board and the Culmore Community Partnership.

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During the current Council term, the allocation of the most senior positions of responsibilty for the four years ending June 2023 have been shared out between Sinn Féin, the SDLP and the DUP under the d’Hondt system.

In what has been an extremely busy year as Covid restrictions were relaxed and society gradually reopened, over the past year Graham Warke has represented the City and District as First Citizen while Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson has been Deputy Mayor. The SDLP is expected to nominate for the role of Deputy Mayor for the coming year.