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High Sheriff

  • High Sheriff

    The current High Sheriff of Belfast is Councillor Sammy Douglas.

    He was sworn into office on Monday 15 January 2024 and is the 124th High Sheriff of the city.

    Cllr Sammy Douglas

    To contact the High Sheriff of Belfast, email and 07795 926732 .

  • Duties and responsibilities

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

    Historically, the position of High Sheriff is one of the oldest secular offices in Britain, dating back to the Local Government (Ireland) Act of 1898. In 1900, Alderman Sir James Henderson became the city's first High Sheriff.

    Today, appointments to the position are made by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, usually upon the recommendation of the council. The role is now largely ceremonial, with the High Sheriff providing support to the Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor during their term in office.

    Duties include:

    • attending civic functions hosted by the Lord Mayor
    • undertaking specific functions on behalf of the council
    • attending functions in place of the Lord Mayor
    • providing general support to the Lord Mayor
  • Addressing the High Sheriff

    If you are speaking in public and would like to welcome or introduce the High Sheriff, the usual form of address is simply 'High Sheriff'. For example, "and so, I'd like to welcome Councillor Sammy Douglas, the High Sheriff of Belfast."

    If you are speaking to the High Sheriff in conversation, the correct title remains 'High Sheriff'.

    If you would like to write to the High Sheriff, you should address your letter to 'the High Sheriff, Councillor Sammy Douglas'. You should also begin your letter with 'Dear High Sheriff'.

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