Northern Ireland has elected their first openly gay mayor, Alliance Party councilor Andrew Muir of North Down.
“My sexuality hasn’t been an issue for me nor for my electorate nor my constituents since I became a councilor in 2010,” Muir told UTV.
“And it won’t be a defining issue for me as mayor because the challenge as mayor is to reach out and represent everyone across our society – people of different faiths, backgrounds.”
Muir graduated from the University of Ulster with a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies. His extracurricular activities have included participating in the Grand Opera House and the Ulster Orchestra as well as excelling in sports.
Muir has been serving the electorate since 2010 as a North Down Borough Council member.
After winning the election, Muir said: “As Mayor of North Down I am determined to realize the momentous opportunities ahead and celebrate the diverse range of work taking place across the Borough towards one shared vision of an integrated, peaceful, prosperous, active clean and green society.”
Ireland has been making progress regarding LGBT issues. The Irish county of Kerry has voted to back marriage equality while Europe’s first transgender MP, Anna Grodzka of Poland, addressed a conference in Dublin in February.