Former Alliance Lord Mayors' portraits unveiled at Belfast City Hall

Former Alliance Party Belfast Lord Mayors Michael Long and Kate Nicholl

A portrait depicting former Lord Mayor Kate Nicholl while she was pregnant has been unveiled at Belfast City Hall.

The painting of the former Alliance Councillor, now MLA, was revealed alongside a picture of another former holder of the office and party college Michael Long at a small ceremony on Monday. Ms Nicholl became Belfast's first citizen in June 2021 and served until May 2022.

On her election to the Assembly she was replaced by Mr Long who took over for the last few weeks of her term and became the city's shortest serving Lord Mayor.

In keeping with tradition, Kate Nicholl’s portrait was produced by Coalisland-based artist Catherine Creaney.

Ms Nicholl's daughter Etain was born shortly after she left office, with the former councillor continuing to carry out her duties late into her pregnancy.

The now MLA shared a picture on social media of her looking at the painting, which shows up her baby bump, alongside her daughter Etain with the caption: "Look that's us."

Michael Long’s brief term in office is marked with a photograph from his installation. Both picture and portrait will now take their place among portraits of other previous Lord Mayors hanging in the corridors of City Hall. The current Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Ryan Murphy, attended the unveiling.

He said: “Creating a visual record of a Lord Mayor’s time in office is a long-standing tradition here in Belfast, and these portraits are important reminders of how our city has changed and diversified over the years. “They are viewed multiple times daily on free public tours of City Hall and are widely regarded as adding to the building’s rich history. “Every new portrait adds further to this unique collection of public art, as well as continuing to give local artists the chance to showcase their skills and talent and have the opportunity for their work to be seen by thousands of visitors each year.”

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