Councillor Diana Armstrong appointed Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council

2nd December 2020

Cllr Diana Armstrong

Councillor Diana Armstrong is the new Chairperson of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.

Councillor Armstrong assumed the role of Council Chairperson from her colleague Cllr Chris Smyth at the full Council meeting on Tuesday 1 December 2020.

Speaking about her new appointment, Councillor Armstrong, said:

“I am deeply honoured to accept the role of Chairperson of the Council and consider it a great privilege to represent the Council for the remainder of this current year as part of a pre-agreed party arrangement which would see Councillor Smyth and myself share the role.

I would like to pay tribute to my party colleague, Cllr Smyth, for the leadership and compassion he has shown as Chairman of the Council over the last number of months in what can only be described as one of the most challenging periods we have faced globally in recent history. I hope the experience I gained in my previous term as Vice Chair of the Council may in some small way help me in my new role as First Citizen and I will endeavour to discharge my duties as Council Chair to the best of my ability. I am very much looking forward to the challenge.

While we remain in uncertain times and there is no doubt that we will face many challenges ahead, I am committed to using my time as Council Chair to continue to support the economic wellbeing of our small business and local retail sector. The small business, retail and hospitality sectors are key to the success of the local economy and are a significant contributor to employment and livelihoods in our local communities.  With the strong support of all our elected representatives, I am confident that by being stronger together, we will help sow the seeds of recovery and that we will emerge from the pandemic as a strong and united community.

I look forward to taking on the role of Chair and to working in partnership with the Council Vice Chairman, Cllr John Coyle.”

Speaking on the handover, the outgoing chair, Cllr Smyth said, that he was delighted that his party colleague was taking on this role.

“Diana is the embodiment of all that an elected representative should be, she is calm, considered and at all times acts in the best interests of all her constituents. These are qualities which will serve her well in her new role. During her term as Vice Chair of the Council, Diana attracted praise from across the chamber in the manner in which she discharged her duties and I am confident that she will bring those same qualities to her new role as Chair.

There is no doubt that my term was dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic and while we are moving into a new phase of the pandemic, it will be with us for some considerable time to come and those same challenges are still with us. In Diana, I am confident that the Council will have a steady hand at the wheel to steer us through the choppy waters ahead.

I was proud to lead the Council during this difficult time and I am full of admiration for the way the Council, both elected representatives and staff, worked in partnership to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic, keeping our essential services going practically uninterrupted in an efficient and calm manner. The community response also was amazing and we saw at first hand the benefits of a strong community sector.

I wish Diana every success in her new role.”

This will be Councillor Armstrong’s first time to hold the position of Council Chairperson. Previously, Councillor Armstrong was Vice-Chair of the Council in 2019 – 2020.

Councillor John Coyle remains as Vice Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.