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New Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey commits to delivering positive, progressive leadership

Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey

Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey


Councillor Neill 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 CooperBEM 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: 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

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