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Councillor Carole Howard sworn in as new High Sheriff of Belfast

16 Jan 2018
Councillor Carole Howard has been sworn in as the new High Sheriff of Belfast.

She succeeds Alderman Tom Haire, becoming the 118th High Sheriff of the city and the 12th woman to hold the position. Councillor Howard’s appointment also means that this is the third time in recent history that all three of Belfast’s highest civic offices have been held by women.

“It is a great honour to have been elected to the post of High Sheriff, and I pledge to serve the people of Belfast, and to support the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor in carrying out my duties to the best of my ability,” Councillor Howard said.

“I will continue to work hard for our city during my time as High Sheriff, and hope to bring a positive contribution to making Belfast a better and brighter city for all its citizens,” she added.

Councillor Howard was elected to the former Castlereagh Borough Council in 2011, before being elected to represent the Lisnasharragh area of East Belfast in May 2014. She sits on the Council’s City Growth and Regeneration Committee, Licensing Committee US Stakeholders Group and Women’s Steering Group, and is a member of both the East Belfast District Policing and Community Safety Partnership and Chair of the main Belfast PCSP.

The Local Government (Ireland) Act of 1898 provided for the appointment of a Sheriff for the newly created County of the City of Belfast. The first High Sheriff of Belfast, Sir James Henderson, was appointed in January 1900.

Unlike the Mayoral year, the post of High Sheriff begins in January and ends the following December.

Historically, the role of High Sheriff has been ‘protector of the monarch`s interests’: however, it is now largely ceremonial and, since 1973, the appointment has been made by the Secretary of State, based on a nomination from Belfast City Council.

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High Sheriff of Belfast, Councillor Carole Howard