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Last Updated: Friday, 2 June 2006, 08:13 GMT 09:13 UK
Lord mayor to 'work for everyone'
Pat McCarthy
Pat McCarthy said he wanted to develop a vision for Belfast
Belfast's new lord mayor has pledged to work for everyone in the city regardless of their background.

Pat McCarthy of the SDLP received backing from all parties, except Sinn Fein when he was elected at a meeting in City Hall on Thursday.

Mr McCarthy has been a councillor for five years, representing areas including the Markets and Lower Ormeau. It was the first time a nationalist lord mayor was elected with the backing of the DUP.

He is the council's fourth nationalist lord mayor and will replace the DUP's Wallace Browne.

DUP councillor Ruth Patterson has been elected as his deputy for what will be Belfast City Hall's centenary year.

Mr McCarthy said he "wanted to have an input into the future" of Belfast.

"We have a lot of catching up to do. We have come out of 30 years of turmoil and I want to see a brighter future for all," he told BBC News on Friday.

"I am a parent. I have two sons and a daughter, and I want them to live and work within our city and not have to get the boat or plane as other children have done before them."

He added: "I believe in reaching out to people... I work for all people. If anyone asks for my help, I don't care what colour or creed they are, if I can help them, then that's my job."

Mr McCarthy is a former internee who was part of the Official Republican movement in the 1970s.

However, he said his past was no secret.

"It was a sign of the times that people were involved," he said.

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