Deaths of loved one and Lyra McKee motivate Mayor Boyle

The new mayor of Derry City and Strabane, Councillor Michaela Boyle, said two pointless deaths - the loss of a loved one to domestic violence and the recent killing of Lyra McKee in Creggan - would motivate her mayoralty over the year ahead.

Friday, 24th May 2019, 9:01 pm

Mayor Boyle said it was important the new Council remained resolute in its opposition to those who claimed the 29-year-old writer’s life by firing shots at police during rioting at Central Drive last month.

“Just a few short weeks ago here in Derry we saw the reprehensible killing of young journalist, Lyra McKee. This new council team going forward must remain resolute in our opposition to the pointless actions of these people who claimed another life on our streets. We must show strong leadership in our roles and must not let Lyra’s death be in vain. To quote Lyra’s ‘letter to her 14 year old self’ - ‘It won’t always be like this. It’s going to get better,’” she said.

The 52-year-old said she was choosing Foyle Women’s Aid as one of her mayoral charities for very personal reasons.

“Domestic violence is a subject close to my heart having lost someone to this horrendous crime.

“While in the Assembly I served as spokesperson for my party on Domestic Violence & sat on various All Party groups including the Women’s Caucas,” she explained.

Mrs. Boyle was first co-opted onto the old Strabane District Council following the death of veteran Strabane republican Ivan Barr in 2008.

She was elected as West Tyrone MLA in 2011 and served the constituency until her recent replacement by former councillor and Castlederg-based Mayor of DC&SDC, Maolíosa McHugh.

This week she became the first person from Strabane town to hold the office of mayor.

“I want to say a special thank you to my husband Paul, my four daughters and my three grandchildren for the solid support they have given me throughout the years and for their understanding in my decision to take up this busy role,” she said.