Micky Murray to make history as Belfast’s first out gay Lord Mayor

Murray will take up the position in June, replacing Sinn Féin's Ryan Murphy.

A selfie of Micky Murray, the new Lord Mayor of Belfast. He stands on the left hand side of the image smiling, with a park visible in the background.
Image: @micky_murray via X

Micky Murray has been selected as the next Lord Mayor of Belfast, set to make history as the city’s first out gay person to hold the position. The news was announced on Monday, April 29, with the 32-year-old describing it as a “significant moment” for the LGBTQ+ community.

Speaking after the fact, Murray, an Alliance Pary councillor representing the Balmoral area, said: “In my role as Lord Mayor I want to meet people in all areas of Belfast and recognise those who are making a difference in every quarter, finding ways to work alongside them for the better.

He added: “Supporting the most vulnerable is a priority of mine, and I want to use my experience working in the homeless sector to ensure our city does more to help people.

“I want to help transform Belfast into a more inclusive city where everyone can enjoy, regardless of who you are or where you’re from. We’re 26 years on from the Good Friday Agreement and we were promised peace, which has largely been delivered, but now is the time to further break down barriers and create a thriving city.

“Our city should be recognised for its inclusivity, rather than its division. As the first openly gay Lord Mayor, I want to use this platform to represent the LGBTQ+ community and be a positive role model for them.”


In a separate interview, Murray admitted: “As a schoolboy who was badly bullied because of my sexuality, I never thought I’d have the privilege of serving in a role like this.”

The councillor continued: “The position of Lord Mayor has existed for over 130 years, and I’ll be the first openly LGBTQ person to hold it. It’s a huge honour for me personally to be given this opportunity by my party colleagues.

“While some people may question why my sexuality is relevant, it does matter for members of my community. We are finally represented in a role we’ve never been before. It’s imbued with symbolism.”

Murray said he wants to work with as many LGBTQ+ groups as possible “to figure out the voice that they have and what they expect from Belfast City Council.

Micky Murray will take up the role of Lord Mayor in June, replacing Sinn Féin’s Ryan Murphy. The position is largely ceremonial, dating back to 1892, and rotates annually.

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