New Councillor for Andersonstown
At a meeting of Belfast City Council on Thursday 1 October, Andersonstown Republican Caoimhin Mac Giolla Mhin was co-opted on to the council to replace Paul Maskey who will now concentrate on his role as an Assembly member for West Belfast.
Caoimhin, who lives in the lower Glen Road area, has been a republican activist for many years.
Married to Upper Falls Sinn Fein councillor Chrissie Mhic Giolla Mhin, Caoimhin was a member of cumann feirste in the Riverdale area before becoming chair of cumann Caoimhin Mhic Bradaigh, the West Belfast Irish language cumann, in March 2008.
Caoimhin has also been a member of the West Belfast Comhairle Ceantair officer board for several years, in his previous role as Press Officer and in his most recent role as chairperson of the Irish language cumann.
In his role as Press Officer, Caoimhin initiated the West Belfast Sinn Fein newspaper which is distributed quarterly to homes in the constituency.
He stood as a candidate in the Upper Falls area for the council elections in May 2005.
He regularly attends council meetings and has an excellent knowledge of the workings of the council and its departments.
He is a fluent Irish speaker and is presently working with his colleagues in the Caoimhin Mac Bradaigh cumann to get bilingual street signs erected across the west.
Caoimhin worked for Coiste, the Republican ex-Prisoners group, and was deeply involved in developing Coistes political tourism project, before he moved to the West Belfast Partnership Board as their economic development officer, where he was instrumental in forming the West Belfast Traders' Forum and initiating the 'Buy Local' campaign.
Caoimhin has also worked for Belfast City Council in their economic development department. He now works within the community in West Belfast, on an education/family services project aimed at enhancing integration of services for children and young people in the Upper Springfield area.
Speaking after the council meeting, Councillor Mac Giolla Mhin said:
‘I am proud to have been chosen by my colleagues to become a councillor for Sinn Fein in Andersonstown. This is a great area with great people and I hope that I can make a difference along with our activists in this area.
"Tá mé ag dúil go mór leis an dúshlán nua seo. Déanfaidh mé mo sheacht ndícheall mar cúid den fhoireann Sinn Féin i gceantair Bhaile Andarsan. Tá cúid mhór obair le déanamh againn ar son pobal s'againne i halla na Cathrach, Béal Feirste," arsa Caoimhín.
‘I will be working alongside Paul Maskey in his role as MLA for the area and we will continue to work to the best of our ability for this community.’’
"Tá obair iontach déanta ag Pól Maskey sna háiteanna áitiúla agus leis na daoine i mBaile Andarsan. Tá mise sásta leis an iarracht ceanna a thabhairt ar mo fhreagrachtaí ar son an phobail," arsa Mac Giolla Mhín.
Andersonstown Martyrs Sinn Fein cumann would like to take this opportunity to wish Caoimhin well in his new role as an Andersonstown Sinn Fein councillor.