First lady Mayor: Mayor’s tribute

Mrs Marlene Jefferson, in her Mayoral robes.

Mrs Marlene Jefferson, in her Mayoral robes.

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Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Elisha McCallion has extended her condolences to the family and friends of the late Marlene Jefferson, a former Mayor and Ulster Unionist Councillor who has passed away.

Ms Jefferson was the first ever lady Mayor of the former Derry City Council back in 1980-81 and the previous year she held the position of Deputy Mayor.

Paying tribute to Ms Jefferson and the important role she played in politics in the city and region, Mayor McCallion said she would be greatly missed by her many family and friends.

“While I personally did not know Marlene, I have heard many of my council colleagues talking fondly of her and how she was kind and generous and very passionate about her city and its people,” she said.

“She was the first female Mayor of the city, and she can take pride in being responsible for setting down the stepping stones for other female politicians in the city to follow in her footsteps.

“I would like to extend my sincere condolences to her family and friends at this sad time,” she said.

Meanwhile, The Ulster Unionist Party’s Foyle spokesperson, Julia Kee, said:“Marlene was not only an ambassador for the city she was an extremely kind person who was very much a force for good. I will especially remember the encouraging words offered to me when I was contemplating a political path, excited that ‘young minds’ were coming on board.

“Marlene will be forever remembered for her contribution to her beloved city. Deepest condolences to Marlene’s family who cherished her as much as she cherished them.”