Kenya-born Lilian Seenoi-Barr Becomes First Black Mayor in Northern Ireland

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Kenya-born Lilian Seenoi-Barr has been chosen as the first Black Mayor in Northern Ireland by the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). She is poised to take over from Sinn Féin’s Patricia Logue as the upcoming first citizen of Derry City and Strabane District Council, as reported by the BBC.

Seenoi-Barr, in her remarks about the nomination process, emphasized its openness to all candidates, despite facing criticism from certain party members.

“I put my name forward. There was an open process, and I was selected after a very robust interview that all three candidates went through,” she affirmed. “The communication was clear about the interview process.”

Highlighting the transparency of the selection process, Seenoi-Barr encouraged those with reservations to engage with management, redirecting the focus to the significance of the position.

Regarding her nomination, Jason Barr, the current deputy mayor and candidate for the position, who resigned from SDLP, expressed feeling undermined by the management committee’s decisions, leading him to perceive a lack of value from the party.

In contrast, Seenoi-Barr sees her appointment as a symbol of hope for people of diverse ethnic backgrounds, underscoring the message that anyone can accomplish their aspirations, irrespective of their origins.

“I want to be a mayor for everyone and represent every single voice,” she affirmed.

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