Tommy Sandford becomes Belfast’s 119th High Sheriff

A Democratic Unionist councillor has become the 119th High Sheriff of Belfast.

Tommy Sandford was sworn-in at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday evening after being appointed by Secretary of State Karen Bradley.

Alderman Sandford represents the Lisnasharragh area of east Belfast and was nominated to the role by Belfast City Council.

He follows Alliance councillor Carol Howard as High Sheriff, and will serve for one year.

“It’s an honour to be appointed as the High Sheriff of my beloved city,” he said.

“I will do my utmost to serve all the people of Belfast, fulfilling the roles and responsibilities of this prestigious office to the best of my ability.”

The first High Sheriff of Belfast was appointed in 1900 with the primary aim of protecting the monarch’s interests in the city, but the role is now mainly ceremonial and provides support to the city’s Lord Mayor.