Tom Ekin

Last updated

Tom Ekin
49th Lord Mayor of Belfast
In office
Preceded by Martin Morgan
Succeeded by Wallace Browne
Personal details
Political party Alliance

Tom Ekin is a politician and business owner in Northern Ireland.

A politician is a person active in party politics, or a person holding or seeking office in government. Politicians propose, support and create laws or policies that govern the land and, by extension, its people. Broadly speaking, a "politician" can be anyone who seeks to achieve political power in any bureaucratic institution.

Northern Ireland Part of the United Kingdom lying in the north-east of the island of Ireland, created 1921

Northern Ireland is a part of the United Kingdom in the north-east of the island of Ireland, variously described as a country, province or region. Northern Ireland shares a border to the south and west with the Republic of Ireland. In 2011, its population was 1,810,863, constituting about 30% of the island's total population and about 3% of the UK's population. Established by the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as part of the Good Friday Agreement, the Northern Ireland Assembly holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters, while other areas are reserved for the British government. Northern Ireland co-operates with the Republic of Ireland in several areas, and the Agreement granted the Republic the ability to "put forward views and proposals" with "determined efforts to resolve disagreements between the two governments".

Ekin joined the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland and was elected to Belfast City Council at the 1997 Northern Ireland local elections. [1] From 2000 until 2002, he served as the Chairperson of the Alliance Party. [2]

The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland (APNI) is a liberal and centrist political party in Northern Ireland. It has long been Northern Ireland's fifth-largest party overall, with eight seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly, but placed third in first preference votes in the most recent election, winning one of the three Northern Ireland seats in the European Parliament.

Belfast City Council local government body for the city in Northern Ireland

Belfast City Council is the local authority with responsibility for part of the city of Belfast, the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland. The Council serves an estimated population of 333,871 (2011), the largest of any district council in Northern Ireland, while also being the fourth smallest by area. Belfast City Council is the primary council of the Belfast Metropolitan Area, a grouping of six district councils with commuter towns and overspill from Belfast, containing a total population of 579,276.

1997 Northern Ireland local elections

Elections for local government were held in Northern Ireland on 21 May 1997, shortly after the 1997 general election across the entire United Kingdom.

Ekin held his seat with an increased vote in 2001. [1] In 2004, he was elected Lord Mayor of Belfast, but was chosen ahead of Democratic Unionist Party member Eric Smyth only on the casting vote of Martin Morgan, the previous year's Lord Mayor. Smyth instead stood for the Deputy's election, but was defeated by Joe O'Donnell of Sinn Féin, this time on the casting vote of Ekin. Following this defeat, reports claim that Smyth told Ekin "your hands are covered in blood, you shameless traitor". [3]

2001 Northern Ireland local elections

Elections for local government were held in Northern Ireland on 7 June 2001, contesting 582 seats in all, along with the 2001 general election across the entire United Kingdom.

Democratic Unionist Party Political unionist party of Northern Ireland

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is a unionist political party in Northern Ireland favoring British identity. It was founded in 1971 during the Troubles by Ian Paisley, who led the party for the next 37 years. Now led by Arlene Foster, it is equal with Sinn Féin in having the most seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and it is the sixth-largest party in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. Following the 2017 general election, the party agreed to support a Conservative minority government on a case-by-case basis on matters of mutual concern.

Eric Smyth is a Northern Irish Unionist politician and Presbyterian minister.

Ekin led the campaign for greater political leadership in Council for the better governing of the City without the usual Sectarian carve up. Financial prudence and efficient decision making were frequent themes. As Chairman of the First Good Relations Working Group, Ekin presided over some fractious meetings about how to accommodate the aspirations of the emerging and proactive Nationalist group and others who were resistant to any change. A progressive Chairman of the Entertainments Licensing Committee, Ekin oversaw and led Licensees to accept their need for greater social responsibility in running their premises. Contentious decisions had to be made, such as electing the first Nationalist, then republican Lord Mayors, the display of flags in the Lord Mayor's parlour, then the flying of the Union Flag 24/7 at the City Hall all created tension, threats and attacks of various sorts.[ citation needed ]

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  1. 1 2 Belfast City Council Elections 1993-2005, Northern Ireland Elections
  2. Tom EKIN, Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
  3. Barry McCaffrey, "Unionists in uproar as Alliance 'partners' SF", Irish News , June 2, 2004
Civic offices
Preceded by
Martin Morgan
Lord Mayor of Belfast
Succeeded by
Wallace Browne