Pete Byrne becomes first openly LGBT+ chair of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

Cllr Pete Byrne will take up the role this evening
-Credit: (Image: Facebook: Cllr Pete Byrne)


The SDLP has chosen councillor Pete Byrne to be the next Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

Councillor Byrne is set to assume his new role at a council meeting on Monday evening. He will make history as the first LGBT+ chair of the council.

Cllr Byrne has also recently been announced as the party's candidate for Newry and Armagh in the upcoming UK General Election.

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SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood stated: "Throughout his time in politics Pete Byrne has worked to break down barriers and stand up for his community and it's highly significant that he will now serve as the first LGBT+ chair of Newry, Mourne and Down. It's fitting that he will now lead the way as the first citizen in the place where he grew up, providing important representation to this council area."

"There are few politicians who work as hard as Pete. He has been a vociferous voice when it comes to delivering for people in this area, particularly in his own constituency of South Armagh. Pete has fought to challenge misconceptions and deliver change in a number of areas, including policing, public transport and local amenities like youth clubs to support young people in the area and I am sure that he will build on that good work throughout his year as chair."

Upon his selection, Councillor Byrne said: "I am absolutely delighted to become Chair of Newry, Mourne and Down. There are few better feelings than being selected to serve as the first citizen of a place that is so close to my heart. I am proud of this place and its people, we have seen much adversity over the years but we always come out stronger, supporting each other along the way."

Councillor Byrne said: "As Chair I am looking forward to visiting every part of our council area and working on behalf of every community. Our council area is rapidly changing, becoming an important link between the North and South of our island and I believe that creates immense opportunities for growth and investment. I am determined to be a champion for inclusion and the most vulnerable in our society and will use my platform and voice to shout as loud as possible about everything Newry, Mourne and Down has to offer."

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