Outgoing Causeway Coast and Glens Mayor Councillor Ivor Wallace said this week that he has “had a ball” in his time at the helm.
Cllr Wallace, a DUP councillor in Ballymoney, was appointed mayor in June last year.
At the council’s annual meeting on Tuesday, May 30, he said it had been “an emotional day”.
“I’ve had a ball,” he said, acknowleding that there have, however, been “highs and lows” during the year.
“We lost my very good friend [DUP councillor] John Finlay,” he said. “We had the death of the Queen but then we had the proclamation and coronation of a new King and Queen.”
Cllr Wallace thanked council staff and chief executive David Jackson, along with his party colleagues for allowing him “to be mayor of this great borough”.
He added: “I hope I have fulfilled my role to your satisfaction. To all the other members, I thank you for your support and help throughout the year.”
Cllr Wallace also thanked deputy mayor, Benbradagh Sinn Fein Councillor Kathleen McGurk, adding: “I have to apologise that maybe you didn’t get doing the number of events you would have liked. I took the decision I was doing mayor full time and that meant I would cover the maximum amount myself.”
Finally, Cllr Wallace thanked his family. “Behind every man is a great woman and Vivien never once complained about me being out every night of the week,” he said.
“Maybe now you’ll complain when I’m in every night of the week. You attended so many of the receptions with me and we served tea, coffee and food together.”
Cllr McGurk congratulated Cllr Wallace “on his achievements over the last year” and thanked him “for the wonderful job that he’s done”.
She added: “I believe you attended over 900 engagements which demonstrates just how busy you were. It’s brilliant to see Vivien there as a support for you and I wish you all the best in your upcoming nuptials.”
Cllr McGurk emphasised that it has been “a great year where all communities and traditions have been accepted and represented”.
She said: “It’s been a great honour to represent all the citizens of Causeway Coast and Glens as deputy mayor. It’s been a real experience to meet many groups and visit parts of the council area I don’t normally get to.
“I stated in my remarks at the beginning of my term that I wanted to support the mayor in a spirit of unity and cooperation. I very much hope he feels I’ve done that and I hope we all take forward that spirit of unity and cooperation into the new mandate.
“All that’s left is for me to wish the incoming mayor and deputy mayor all the best in this new term.”
Limavady DUP Councillor Steven Callaghan has been chosen as the new mayor and the Glens SDLP Councillor Margaret-Anne McKillop has been elected deputy mayor.