LORD MAYOR of Belfast Deirdre Hargey will make a historic first address to the Seanad Chamber in early November.

Welcoming the announcement, Sinn Féin Seanadóir Niall Ó Donnghaile, who requested the Mayoral address said: “Before the summer recess I wrote to the Cathaoirleach of the Seanad asking him to consider an address from the First Citizen of Belfast. At a crucial juncture in the Brexit negotiations it is hugely important that we sustain and build further links, cooperation and engagement across all of Ireland. I have no doubt the Seanad will be keen to hear what the Mayor has to say and continue to play our part in supporting the work of councillors across the country.

“The memorandum between Belfast and Dublin city councils can act as a positive catalyst for cross-border relations and delivery. Given the role of the Seanad in relation to local government it is vital we engage with councils across Ireland who are very often at the coal face of political and community life.”

Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile continued: “I am delighted too that the Seanad will also hear from the Mayors of Dublin and Cork in the coming months off the back of this initiative - we should build on that engagement and facilitate more.

“Ard Mhéara Hargey is a proven community, political and civic leader, I look forward to welcoming her and hearing her message to the Seanad on behalf of the people of Belfast at what is a deeply uncertain period for our all-Ireland economy, our peace process and the rights, wellbeing and prosperity of all our people.”