Neha Patil (Editor)

Lord Mayor of Belfast

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Style  The Right Honourable
Term length  One year
Appointer  Belfast City Council
Deputy  Mary Ellen Campbell
Lord Mayor of Belfast
Inaugural holder  Sir Daniel Dixon (Lord Mayor) George Dunbar (Mayor) John Vesey (Sovereign)
Formation  1892 (as Lord Mayor of Belfast) 1842 (as Mayor of Belfast) 1613 (Belfast)

The Lord Mayor of Belfast is the leader and chairman of Belfast City Council, elected annually from and by the City's 60 councillors.


The Lord Mayor is Brian Kingston of the Democratic Unionist Party, while the Deputy Lord Mayor is Mary Ellen Campbell of Sinn Féin, both elected in June 2016.

The Lord Mayor's Parlour is traditionally situated in Belfast City Hall.


The position that is now the Lord Mayor originated in 1613 in the town's Royal Charter as the Sovereign of Belfast. In 1842, this position was restyled the Mayor of Belfast. in 1892, four years after Belfast was granted city status, the position was given Lord Mayor status, making it one of only three cities on the island of Ireland having a Lord Mayor, the other two being Cork and Dublin. In 1929, it became one of only six cities in the United Kingdom to have a Lord Mayor styled "the Right Honourable". Until 1973 the position was held for three years, when it was reduced to its current term of one year. From 1921 until 1972, the Lord Mayor was automatically entitled to a seat in the Senate of Northern Ireland.

For most of the City's modern history, the position has been held by Unionists, with members of the Ulster Unionist Party holding the post for a total of 61 of the 67 years between 1921 and 1997. The first non-Unionist Lord Mayor since the partition of Ireland in 1921 was David Cook from the Alliance Party who was elected in 1978. The first nationalist Lord Mayor was not appointed until the election of Alban Maginness from the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in 1997, while a Sinn Féin Lord Mayor was first elected in 2002. The loss of the Unionist majority on the Council in 1997 has resulted in a greater rotation of the position amongst the parties, which, like other elected positions within the Council such as Committee chairs, is now filled using the D'Hondt system.

Powers and duties

The Lord's Mayor's role is largely ceremonial, but does include the following powers and duties:

  • In times of natural disaster the Lord Mayor may direct resources such as Police, Fire and Ambulance as they see fit
  • Presiding over meetings of the council and, in the case of equality of votes, the Lord Mayor has a second or casting vote
  • Promoting and raising awareness of the council’s main objectives and priority issues
  • Encouraging and supporting all aspects of life in Belfast by attending civic and public events
  • Receiving distinguished visitors to the city
  • Acting as host on behalf of the council and the citizens of Belfast at civic functions
  • Acting as a spokesperson to the local, national and international media
  • Providing an appropriate response on behalf of Belfast at times of local, national and international catastrophe
  • Supporting and encouraging charitable and other appeals as appropriate
  • Promoting Belfast's business, commercial, cultural and social life
  • Promoting Belfast as a place of excellence in which to do business and as a tourist destination.
  • Deputy Lord Mayor

    The position of Deputy Lord Mayor has a representative role within the city along with the Lord Mayor. When the Lord Mayor is unavailable for whatever reason, it is the responsibility of the Deputy Lord Mayor to carry out the representative functions of the Lord Mayor.

    While the Deputy Lord Mayor is in office, they combine their mayoral responsibilities with their responsibilities as a councillor, such as serving on Council Committees.


  • Monuments in the grounds of Belfast City Hall
  • Sovereigns of Belfast (1613–1842)

    The following is a list of Sovereigns of Belfast from the creation of the position in 1613 until it was replaced by the position of Mayor in 1842.

    Mayors of Belfast (1842–1892)

    The following is a list of Mayors of Belfast from the creation of the position in 1842 until it was replaced by the position of Lord Mayor in 1892.

    Source: Belfast City Council

    Lord Mayors of Belfast (1892–present)

    The following is a list of Lord Mayors of Belfast since the creation of the position in 1892.


    Lord Mayor of Belfast Wikipedia

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