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New Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Commits to Delivering Positive, Progressive Leadership

Councillor Neil Kelly from the Alliance Party has been selected as the new Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey with Councillor Paul Dunlop BEM, from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) nominated as Deputy Mayor for the incoming year.

Speaking at the Council’s Annual Meeting held this evening (Monday 3 June), Councillor Kelly said;

“I am extremely humbled and honoured to be elected as Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey. I am fully committed to delivering positive, progressive leadership for the Borough in the year ahead. I am excited to work with people from all communities, celebrating the remarkable work and services delivered daily by residents, voluntary and community organisations, and businesses across our Borough.

“I am dedicated to supporting economic development and the regeneration of our town centres which attracts major investment and local job creation. As a strong advocate for environmental sustainability, active travel and animal welfare, I look forward to showcasing the great initiatives the Council has delivered in these areas. Addressing social issues affecting our borough is also important to me, as is promoting good relations and fostering connected communities.

“I look forward to working collaboratively with all political parties to deliver a first-class service for all our citizens.”

Councillor Kelly, a registered nurse, represents the Antrim District Electoral Area, where he has served as a Councillor for 14 years, will serve as Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey until June 2025. He will be joined by the Deputy Mayor, Councillor Paul Dunlop BEM, who also represents the Antrim District Electoral Area and has served as a Councillor since 2018.

Paying tribute to the outgoing Mayor and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Kelly said;

“I would like to acknowledge the exemplary work of my colleagues, Councillor Mark Cooper BEM and Councillor Rosie Kinnear, who have been positive ambassadors during their term in office.”

Speaking on his appointment, Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor Paul Dunlop BEM, added;

“It is a great privilege for me to serve as Deputy Mayor, I look forward to supporting the great work of the Council to enable a better future for our residents. I would also like to pay tribute to my late father Sam Dunlop who as a former Mayor of Legacy Antrim Borough Council played a significant role in shaping my decision to stand as a Councillor.”


The AGM also confirmed the new Chair and Vice-Chair of the following Committees who will serve until June 2025:
Audit and Risk Committee
Chair: Councillor Stafford Ward
Vice-Chair: Councillor Alison Bennington
Community Development Committee
Chair: Councillor Mathew Brady
Vice-Chair: Alderman Julian McGrath

Economic Development Committee

Chair: Councillor Billy Webb
Vice-Chair: Councillor Michael Goodman

Operations Committee
Chair: Councillor Vera McWilliam
Vice-Chair: Councillor Andrew McAuley
Planning Committee
Chair: Councillor Jeannie Archibald-Brown
Vice-Chair: Councillor Stephen Cosgrove

Policy and Governance Committee
Chair: Councillor Annie O’Lone
Vice-Chair: Alderman Lewis Boyle