‘I hope people feel I did a fair job: I gave it my all’

Lord Mayor Darryn Causby and Sarah McClatchey at the 'Lord Mayor's Banquet in 'Armagh City Hotel. Photo: LiamMcArdle.com INPT23-002
Lord Mayor Darryn Causby and Sarah McClatchey at the 'Lord Mayor's Banquet in 'Armagh City Hotel. Photo: LiamMcArdle.com INPT23-002

He notched up 900 engagements, attended everything from the opening of playgroups to the hosting of royalty and raised over £20,000 for charity.

And just over a week ago, Brownstown man and DUP councillor Darryn Causby officially ended his term as the first Lord Mayor of ABC Council with a farewell dinner at Armagh City Hotel.

He has described his time in office as a “privilege” which gave him the opportunity to meet people and do things he would otherwise never have met or done.

Among the highlights of his year was meeting Barack Obama in Washington on St Patrick’s Day, and having a ‘selfie’ taken with USA vice-president Joe Biden.

And as a self-confessed royalist lover, he was delighted to be invited to a garden party in Buckingham Palace attended by the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla.

He said, “Prince Charles saw the Mayor’s chain and then he said I’ll see you on Tuesday (a reference to his coming visit to Portadown). To have the Royal visit in my year of office and in my constituency was fantastic.”

Back on mayoral turf, he hosted around 290 groups in the Palace Demesne and the Civic Centre and took pride in making each visit as special as possible. Another of the highlights of his 14-month term was getting out to meet the range of businesses which, he said, contribute so much to the borough. “I wanted to make sure our businesses felt included and knew that the council was there to support them.

“I wanted to find out what their challenges were and what support we could give to them.”

He was also full of praise for the many voluntary workers in the community and youth sectors who give their time for free. “They pour a huge amount into our community and they should be proud of what they do,” he said.

On a personal level, the job presented him with challenges too. As a dyslexic he finds it difficult to read from notes, so had to ensure he was well-prepared before every engagement, and with many appointments with not a day’s break in between, this meant a lot of homework.

He also found himself out of his comfort zone at times. “The Co Armagh Fleadh in Blackwatertown was not familiar territory but the people there looked after me very, very well,” he said.

As a member of Portadown Elim Church, his faith is very important to him, adding that both it and his church family had sustained him in his role, as had the support of his family including dad Harry and mum Audrey.

Of his year, he said, “I hope people think I did a fair job. I put everything into it to serve the people well.”

Darryn has returned to a full-time job in youth work with the YMCA in Portadown, where he is centre manager, and is looking forward to the challenges it will bring, including, hopefully, a new building on the same site in Jervis Street.

He has thanked everyone who supported his farewell dinner, which raised just over £7,000.

The overall amount of £20,393 will go primarily to the Cancer Fund for Children and Portadown charity Helping Hands.