Council elects New Mayor
Publish Date: Thursday, 07 June 2007
Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council has elected a new Mayor. Councillor Barry Monteith, a native of Dungannon and a member of Sinn Féin, replaces Councillor Jim Hamilton of the Ulster Unionist Party to lead the Council through the term of 2007/08.
Councillor Monteith has served the people of the Dungannon Town Ward (Ballysaggart, Coolhill, Drumglass, Killymeal, Moygashel and Mullaghmore) for six years and at 31, is the youngest ever Mayor of the Borough.
Cllr Monteith from Mullaghmore Park, Lisnahull, Dungannon, previously lived in the Ballygawley Road Estate and has been involved in youth and community work for over 10 years. Having lived all his life in Dungannon, he was educated in the Presentation Brothers (now St. Patrick's) Primary School and St. Patrick's Academy, Dungannon, going on then to the University of Ulster in Derry City. A qualified youth and community worker, Cllr Monteith holds an Honours degree in Irish History and Politics.
Being elected to the Council in 2001 made him the youngest Sinn Féin councillor in the North of Ireland at that time. He served as Deputy Mayor in 2002/2003 and was subsequently re-elected in 2005. A full time Sinn Féin activist, working tirelessly for thousands of people in the Dungannon Sinn Féin Advice Centre since leaving university 9 years ago, Cllr Monteith is involved in numerous community groups and has championed the issues of Anne Street, affordable housing, disadvantage, education and equality. He has held numerous positions in Sinn Féin including Sinn Féin party leader within Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council.
Mayor Monteith will be striving to offer inclusion for all residents in the Borough throughout his Mayoral year:
"One of my main priorities as Mayor will be to make the Council more accessible to all the people of the Borough of Dungannon and South Tyrone, especially towards the elderly, disabled and also the youth. I am determined to create a sense of ownership of the 2007 celebrations for all our residents in the build up to the commemorations in September, when I would like everyone to feel part of this significant anniversary."
Cllr Monteith's other priorities for the year include accessibility and openness:
"The Council buildings do not belong to me nor to the Council officers, they belong to the people of the area. I am looking forward to going out and meeting with members of the local community and I am eager to drive our community forward. We need to respect diversity and work together for an equal, just and free society for all."
SDLP's Councillor Patsy Daly was elected as Deputy Mayor. A representative of the Blackwater Ward, he replaces Councillor Michelle O'Neill of Sinn Féin.