New Derry & Strabane SDLP Councillor Lilian Seenoi-Barr ‘honoured’ to represent Foyleside ward

New Foyleside SDLP Councillor Lilian Seenoi-Barr has said she is “honoured” to have been selected to take the seat on Derry City & Strabane District Council.

Wednesday, 9th June 2021, 8:14 am

The Social Democratic and Labour Party selected Lilian Seenoi-Barr at a convention in the city last night.

Colr, Seenoi-Barr is well known locally as the Programme Manager of the North-West Migrants Forum working with and advocating for migrants, asylum seekers and refugees who have chosen to make a life for themselves and their families in Derry.

Lilian Seenoi-Barr has also been a lifelong human rights campaigner with experience fighting for Maasai women and girl’s rights. In 1999, she co-founded the Maasai education discovery-brides rescue project to rescue young girls from early forced marriage and female genital mutilation; working with others to challenge the Kenyan government to introduce laws that protect the rights of woman and girls and access to free primary education for deprived communities.

Lilian Seenoi-Barr is the new SDLP Councillor on Derry City & Strabane District Council. (Photo Derry Journal) DER1319GS-033

Councillor Seenoi-Barr was one of the candidates for the seat after Mary Durkan stepped down as a Councillor last month. Colr. Seenoi-Barr will now join party colleague Shauna Cusack as one of the four local representatives for the Foyleside ward.

Lilian Seenoi-Barr said: “It is a real honour to have been selected by SDLP members to join our Council team and to be endorsed by the party leadership. As a Councillor I will work hard for everyone who lives in the Foyleside area to improve their lives and improve our community.

“I also want to help inspire a new generation of people to see and believe in the power of politics to change people’s lives.

“I have been an activist and an advocate all my life, I know what it’s like to see injustice and to face it down. Our city has seen its fair share of injustice in the past but we are also experiencing endemic inequality, poverty and discrimination today.

“It should be the mission of all political leaders to address and face down inequality wherever we find it, whether it is in health waiting lists, the investment we receive or the way people are treated. That will be my mission as a councillor.

“I am really looking forward to this new challenge and to working with Colum and my party colleagues to deliver more for the people of Derry.”

Speaking following a selection convention this evening, SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP said: “Lilian has dedicated her life to helping people. Whether it was Maasai women and girls facing the most severe oppression or people who have come to our city to build a better life for themselves and their families, Lilian has been an outstanding advocate for those who need support.

“She has been a leader in our community, visibly during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations, and quietly behind the scenes helping people and families whenever she can.

“I know that Lilian is also relentlessly ambitious for our city and will make an immediate impact on the council. I am delighted that Lilian is joining our council team in Derry and Strabane and I’m looking forward to working with her to deliver the positive change that people here need.