Inside Politics

Kenyan human rights defender Lillian Seenoi Barr elected councillor in UK

Sunday, May 21st, 2023 11:12 | By
Lillian Seenoi Barr
Lillian Seenoi Barr. PHOTO/Courtesy

Kenyan human rights defender Lillian Seenoi Barr has been elected as a councillor in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.

In a statement, Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina congratulated her, saying that she was the first black woman to be elected a councillor in the region.

"Congratulations to my baby sister Lillian Seenoi Barr the first ever black person to be elected as a councillor in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. May the Good Lord open many doors for you," Ledama stated.

In a statement, Barr promised to be people-oriented in her leadership quest after garnering over 1,000 votes to win the seat.

"I am deeply humbled to have been elected by the people of Foyleside. When I joined Derry City & Strabane District Council just under two years ago, I had been chosen by SDLP members. At the time I made a commitment that I would work tirelessly to earn people's trust and deliver for the local area.
I'm beyond delighted to have gained nearly 1,000 first preference votes and to now have an electoral mandate in my own right," she said.

"The people have spoken loud and clear. For the most part they are rewarding hard work. But it's also clear to see their frustration at the continuing lack of a functioning Assembly and obstruction of a nationalist first minister. I am proud to be part of Derry SDLP team that puts people first. I look forward to continuing working hard for the people of Derry."

Barr will now serve as the SDLP Councillor for Foyleside-Derry.

Lillian Seenoi Barr's profile

Barr joined the SDLP team on Derry and Strabane District Council in June 2021. She is the Director of Programmes at the North-West Migrants Forum and has been a strong voice for migrants, asylum seekers and refugees who have chosen to make a life for themselves and their families in Derry.

Lilian has also been a lifelong human rights campaigner with experience fighting for Maasai women and girl’s rights. In 1999, she co-founded the Maasai education discovery-brides rescue project to rescue young girls from early forced marriage and female genital mutilation; working with others to challenge the Kenyan government to introduce laws that protect the rights of woman and girls and access to free primary education for deprived communities.

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