New mayor takes office

Derry’s new First Citizen was expected to receive his Chain of Office at the annual general meeting of Derry City Council in the Guildhall last night.

DUP alderman Maurice Devenney was the most likely contender to be named as the city’s mayor, and was set to receive the chain from outgoing mayor, Colum Eastwood of the SDLP.

Alderman Devenney represents the rural area and was first elected to Derry City Council in 2005. He was re-elected earlier this month.

He has served twice as deputy mayor, including over the past council year.

The deputy mayor for the year ahead has been named as Creggan Sinn Féin councillor Kevin Campbell.

The former prisoner, who took part in the blanket protests in Long Kesh, was first elected in 2005 and was re-elected at the recent election.

The leader of the Sinn Féin group on Council, colr. Maeve McLaughlin said; “Kevin is a lifelong Republican who has worked for the entire community in Derry and will continue to do so in his role as deputy Mayor.

“It is also fitting that given that this is the thirtieth anniversary of the Hunger strike that Kevin has been selected as he is a former blanket man.

“Kevin has fought tooth and nail to ensure that this community has attracted funding for housing, health facilities and play parks and will now bring this commitment, experience and vigour to his new role.”

The outgoing mayor, Colum Eastwood, not only steps down from his position as First Citizen but is also expected to resign his seat on Derry City Council following his election as an MLA in the recent Assembly elections.

The SDLP are set to announce his replacement shortly.