Freethinking New Mayor in Belfast


Nuala McAllister.  She’s the new Lord Mayor of Belfast.  This woman should be the voice of future leadership.

Here’s how she handled the fake “controversy” of the religious privilege folks who were angry she didn’t have prayer/grace at her recent installation dinner.

“She turns the questioning back on me [the reporter] when I tell her that I was at her installation dinner, on the press table.

Do you say grace before you eat your meal? Did anyone at your table raise the fact that Grace wasn’t said? Did anyone in the room raise the fact that you didn’t say grace,” she fires at me while I shake my head no.

“It was a storm in a teacup,” she says, but adds that she made a point of speaking with all the leaders of the Christian Churches and Muslim faith that night and that no-one raised it with her.

“Had I stood up and said that there was not going to be grace because the lord mayor is an atheist, it would have been a same situation. You just can’t win.”

“I didn’t want a chaplain as I provide my own guidance and I wouldn’t want to lie. I made it clear that I would not read from scripture during my year but would attend ceremonies or religious institutions as I believe it is expected, and should be, of the lord mayor as I’m representing everyone.”

She was raised in a traditionally working-class nationalist community of the Antrim as one of eight siblings to parents Mark and Trea but developed a questioning attitude to just about everything when growing up, which saw her reject her faith as she simply “does not believe in God”.

When her mother told her on Sunday morning that it would be a sin if she didn’t go to Mass, teenager Nuala countered with: “I don’t believe in sins. I believe in law and I believe that you must be a good person.

While she understands the role that faith plays in people’s lives – both Finn’s grandparents are practising Christians – her place of comfort is her partner Sam, who grew up in the predominantly Protestant Rathcoole, and their 13-month-old son.”  (The Irish News)

Some people sure get angry when they aren’t given exceptional privilege.  She handles this “Religious Correctness” exceptionally well.  I think this is one mayor to watch.


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