Mayor McClintock selects Action Cancer as chosen charity in tribute to sisters

John Coutts, Marion Coutts, William McClintock and Alderman Hilary McClintock were pictured at the 150th anniversary gala ball held in the Maldron Hotel by the No Surrender Parent Club. INLS3715-127KM
John Coutts, Marion Coutts, William McClintock and Alderman Hilary McClintock were pictured at the 150th anniversary gala ball held in the Maldron Hotel by the No Surrender Parent Club. INLS3715-127KM

The newly elected Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock has pledged her commitment to represent the entire Council district by working tirelessly to “make a difference” to create a vibrant and harmonious community.

Speaking following her election as the second Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council at the AGM at the Guildhall tonight, Mayor McClintock sayid she was deeply honoured to be chosen to represent the city and district and is looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead. Councillor Jim McKeever, of the SDLP, was elected the Deputy Mayor at the meeting.

She paid tribute to the outgoing Mayor and Deputy Mayor, saying she is looking forward to a busy but exciting year ahead.

“During this incoming year I will try to do my best to represent this entire council district and to serve the people of Londonderry, Strabane and the rural community. If my term of office is anywhere near as busy as the last Mayors, I will certainly be kept fully occupied. I hope that I will have the energy and vitality that Mayor McCallion has exhibited,” she said.

The theme of Mayor McClintock’s Mayoral year is “Making a Difference” where she intends to work in close partnership with elected members, Council officers and key stakeholders to continue with the good work that is being done to deliver strong local government and create a sustainable, vibrant and harmonious community.

In her inaugural speech, the DUP Mayor outlined her experience working in the playgroup sector in Strathfoyle and Gobnascale, as well as her work with children with special needs at Belmont House School, and the impact these roles have had in helping shape her path.

On a personal level, Mayor McClintock says she intends to continue with the Making a Difference theme to strive to make a real and positive difference for the local community across the Council area.

“I want to meet with many people and many groups during this next year. I want to talk to people and I want to listen to people. As a Council we have made great strides in improving communication, through webcasting, website, social media as well as the more traditional forms of email, letter and newspaper. We have involved many more people in decision making processes which affect them and I look forward to the opportunities that will arise to share with you all during the next year,” she added.

A key priority for the new Mayor is to lobby for job creation and to continue with the work that is being done to expand Magee University. She also highlighted the importance of investment in the local infrastructure and for better public services, particularly for the most vulnerable and marginalised members of our community.

“I recognise the enormous numbers battling with addiction problems, physical and emotional health issues and I intend to use this office to strongly advocate for improvements in services for them all. We have a very rich resource in our people here, we are a resilient people. In the face of many put downs. We are a generous people.

“We have demonstrated this time and again. We have a generosity of spirit that welcomes opportunities to help others in times of and I am committed to campaign for care for the elderly, care for the young, care for the vulnerable, care for those unable to care for themselves.”

Announcing details of her chosen Mayoral charities, Mayor McClintock said Action Cancer NI and Tearfund were both very close to her heart.

“Having lost my own two sisters to cancer I was very keen to support a charity working in this field and the work of Action Cancer is well known as is the familiar and prominent sight of the Action Cancer Big Bus.

“The Tearfund charity is also very close to my heart and I have been inspired by the local community’s response to tragedy and the particular needs of those locally and globally.

“We are a community that demonstrates compassion for others and I am delighted to be able to support Tearfund and the work they do to provide a quick response worldwide when disasters happen and then continue to alleviate poverty long-term by giving people the tools to help themselves.”

Concluding the new Mayor says she is hugely excited about the challenges that lie ahead but that she remains focused and committed to deliver the best outcomes for the local community.

“It will be an honour to serve as your Mayor in this very special centenary year of 2016. Within this Council area we have already marked some of the events of 1916. I am absolutely delighted to be Mayor of this city and district as we move towards marking the events related to the Battle of the Somme as we mark the massive and shocking loss sustained during one of the bloodiest battles of any war before or since.

“It is a privilege to be here tonight in front of my colleagues, family and friends to accept the position of Mayor. For the next year I undertake to fulfil my civic duties and promote this city and district at every opportunity.”

Hilary McClintock has been married to Billy for 40 years. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.

She has lived in Drumahoe for almost 30 years where she is an active member of Drumahoe Community Association.

Having started with a career in the Civil Service, Hilary like many young mothers of her generation left full time work when her children were born. Her return to work was in the playgroup sector to suit the needs of her young family. Having worked in community playgroups and then with WHSS playgroups, Hilary then became a classroom assistant in Belmont House Special School and spent 15 years in the Woodlands Language Unit. Whilst working there, Hilary went on to study for a Psychology degree through the Open University.

There followed a period of 13 years working in the community sector with the Waterside Area Partnership. Opportunities arose through this work for Hilary to become involved with a wide range of local groups including community associations, woman’s groups, childcare groups, bands, cultural organisation’s sports groups, victims groups, church groups and many others.

The wide ranging experience gained through this role led very naturally to a move into political life. Hilary was selected by the DUP to stand for election in 2014.

Since becoming a member of Derry and Strabane District Council, Hilary has served on the Planning Committee, Health and Communities Committee and Audit and Risk Committee as well as on numerous internal and external bodies.

Hilary also devotes an enormous amount of time to Waterside Presbyterian Church where she is the only female elder and is also the Church Treasurer. She retired from her role within the Boys Brigade after 37 years.

When Hilary is not working, she loves nothing more than getting away and relaxing on holidays anywhere where there is lots of sun and lots of sand.