Youngest female Councillor Sarah Duffy elected as new Lord Mayor

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New Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor elected

SF Councillor Sarah Duffy has been elected Lord Mayor and UUP Councillor Kyle Savage as Deputy Lord Mayor at the Annual Meeting of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council held on Monday 3 June 2024.

Councillor Sarah Duffy was elected in 2023 to the Armagh DEA becomes the youngest female representative to take on the role of Lord Mayor for the Borough of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon.

Councillor Sarah Duffy, aged 32, becomes the youngest female representative to take up the honorary role of Lord Mayor for the Borough of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon. Single mother of twin 8-year-old girls, Emily and Lucia, Councillor Duffy first became an elected representative following the 2023 local government election. During the past year Cllr Duffy served as a member of the Policing Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), Performance and Audit committee as well as the Governance, Resources and Strategy committee.  She has a passion for local politics, supporting local people and has pledged to champion positive behaviour towards women.

In her first official address as Lord Mayor Councillor Duffy said,

“It is a great honour and privilege for me to accept this role for the incoming year. I want to pay tribute to outgoing Lord Mayor Margaret Tinsley and Deputy Lord Mayor Sorcha McGeown for their commendable service during their tenure.

“I want to thank my party colleagues for entrusting me with this civic role, and to my family for their support, as this role would never have been an option for me without your love and support. To my twin daughters, Emily and Lucia, who are with us here this evening, you are my entire world and nothing in life will ever make me prouder than how the three of us have navigated the past 8 years together.

“Thank you to my constituents for electing me as a councillor last year. I have the privilege of meeting people from all walks of life, it has been a year filled with many positives and has given me greater awareness of the issues, struggles and ongoing concerns that I wish to focus on my term in office.

“I want to make a difference, start conversations, and create a change for the things I’m passionate about. My chosen charity is Women’s Aid, one that is very close to my heart for many reasons. The charity provides shelter for many women across our borough, as well as educational opportunities, a safe place and short-term crisis management. With chronic underfunding at a crucial time when violence against women and girls is at an all-time high. We have all been horrified by the tragic deaths of local women Natalie McNally and Katie Simpson and I want to pay tribute to their families as they continue to fight for justice. Over 380 women across our borough are on a waiting list for refuge and support from Women’s Aid, that is 380 women who are at risk of coming to serious harm or death at the hands of their abuser. I hope with funds raised this coming year, together we can make a difference to those women but also to educate, encourage and promote positive behaviour towards women.

Councillor Duffy concluded her official remarks, she commented, “I will be a mayor for all, I will continue to do everything in my power to attract jobs, investment, and opportunities for our borough. This is an incredible place; it is full of incredible people, and I know that together we can build an incredible future.”

Councillor Kyle Savage was elected as Deputy Lord Mayor for a second term in office, after holding the position in 2020. Donaghcloney farmer and married with three children, Councillor Savage, said,

“I’m honoured to be elected as Deputy Lord Mayor for a second time, it is a huge privilege to give civic representation and I look forward to working for the people of our borough, supporting our families, our local communities, and businesses during my term in office.”

Councillor Kyle Savage was elected in 2019 to represent the Lagan River DEA on Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

Prior to this, he was co-opted onto Craigavon Borough Council in November 2014 when his father George Savage, a former Upper Bann MLA and thrice-serving Mayor of Craigavon, passed away. His mother Joy Savage, who served as a Craigavon councillor, also donned mayoral chains in 1993/94.