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Pro-drugs campaigner Ming the Merciless is new mayor

A PRO-cannabis campaigner who styled himself to look like Ming the Merciless, below, is set to become the new mayor of Roscommon town.

Colourful character Luke 'Ming' Flanagan (Ind), who has admitted to growing his own drugs, has been chosen by a new coalition of councillors on Roscommon County Council.

But despite his step into more mainstream politics, he has revealed that he is still a big supporter of legalising cannabis. "I still hold my view and will hold my view on that ... and I will be proved right," he said.

Mr Flanagan, who pulled in 17pc of first-preference votes when he was re-elected in 2009, has confirmed an agreement has been reached by the coalition and he will take the mayoral chain next Monday.

Made up of the Labour Party, Fine Gael, Sinn Fein and Independents, the coalition behind the move was formed to oppose Fianna Fail's policy on Roscommon hospital.

The social campaigner first ran as an independent in Galway West in the 1997 election. He was more memorable than most, thanks to him shaving his head and styling his beard to look like Ming the Merciless from the comic Flash Gordon.