UK: Northern Ireland Finally Gets First Ever Black Woman Mayor


I’ve been waiting for a female nigger to rule over Northern Ireland my whole life.

It’s about darn time.

The Guardian:

Lilian Seenoi-Barr will make history on 3 June when she receives the chain of office at Derry’s guildhall and becomes Northern Ireland’s first black mayor.

It will be the culmination of a personal and political journey that began in 2010 when she arrived as a refugee from Kenya and became part of the region’s growing multi-ethnic identity.

The milestone has prompted pride in Northern Ireland and Kenya that a woman with Maasai roots will represent the city of John Hume and Derry Girls, but it has also raised concern about Seenoi-Barr’s safety.

Because not everyone is cheering. Far-right activists including the US conspiracy theorist Alex Jones have used her elevation to peddle the notion that Ireland, north and south, is being “invaded”. She has received death threats and racist abuse.

“To have your life threatened is not a good feeling when you genuinely just want to serve the people of your city,” the incoming mayor said in an interview. “People are absorbing populist information that is quite loud. It’s kind of like every single problem that exists in the north of Ireland or across Ireland has been caused by immigrants.”

The southern part of Ireland had this years ago

Seenoi-Barr’s symbolic breakthrough at Derry and Strabane district council has coincided with a backlash against immigrants and refugees on both sides of the border and a row between London and Dublin over asylum seekers entering the republic via Northern Ireland.

“I don’t think I would have ever been elected in Derry if people were hostile but if you look at reports of hate crimes [across Northern Ireland] we do have racism,” she said. “If you talk about housing pressures, the scapegoat is immigrants. The collapsing NHS, the scapegoat is immigrants. Lack of school infrastructure, the scapegoat is immigrants.”

Over the past year, police recorded 1,353 racist incidents and 839 racist crimes, the highest figure since records began in 2004-05.

The Social Democratic and Labour party (SDLP) councillor said she felt safe in Derry but had become more security-conscious since doing a six-week “self-defence” course that included running, weight-lifting and threat assessment. “I hated it at first, but then I began to feel strong and enjoyed it,” she said.

Seenoi-Barr, 42, did the course earlier this year at the request of relatives in Kenya who became alarmed after an anti-immigrant riot in Dublin last November. She happened to be in the Irish capital at the time and received death threats after calling the chaos xenophobic terror.

Threats resumed in April after the SDLP chose her to become mayor under a rotating system with other parties in Northern Ireland’s second city.

Jones tweeted to his 2.3 million followers that the World Economic Forum – a bogeyman for the far-right – was installing “invaders” as mayors in Ireland, just as it had in London. Many abusive posts on X appeared to come from accounts in the Republic of Ireland. Police in Derry arrested a 30-year-old man on suspicion of harassment and threats to kill.

Immigration and diversity in Northern Ireland have increased since the 1998 Good Friday agreement, albeit from a tiny base. The 2001 census recorded 14,300 people, or 0.8% of the population, as belonging to an ethnic minority. By 2021, it was 65,600 people, or 3.4%.

Northern Ireland was less than 1% non-white in 2001

Intimidation was deterring some “good politicians” from challenging hate-mongers, said Seenoi-Barr. “It is the fear.” But threats from “keyboard warriors” would not stop her leading the council, she said. “This city has given me so much, it has given me a family, it has given me a safe environment, it’s given me friends and it’s given me a home, so all you really want to do is give back.”

Far-right animosity reflected a longstanding UK government policy to create a “hostile environment” for illegal migration, with Rishi Sunak’s Rwanda deportation plan its latest incarnation, said the new mayor.

The result is that refugees who are fleeing persecution and migrants such as doctors and nurses who sustain the NHS are lumped together and demonised, she said. “The message is ‘we don’t want people who are different to be coming here’.”

Seenoi-Barr grew up in Narok in southern Kenya. Her father was a doctor and her mother ran a business. Seenoi-Barr attended university and is proud of her “beautiful, vibrant” Maasai heritage, but not the traditions of early marriage and female genital mutilation, which she campaigned against, and superstitions about disability. To shield her son, who is autistic, she moved to Northern Ireland in 2010, she said.

In 2012, she founded an advocacy network, North West Migrants Forum, that now has six staff and 50 volunteers. She married a local man and joined the moderate nationalist SDLP in 2015. Its leader, Colum Eastwood, persuaded her to run for council in 2018. She lost the 2019 election, was co-opted in 2021 and held the seat in a 2023 election.

We need a black Northern Ireland.

It’s the only way they are going to be able to survive.

They have to go full nigger, then they have to go double nigger.

Otherwise, there will be no more Northern Ireland.