Belfast Telegraph

James Molyneaux: A snapshot of a life in service, in war and politics

By Steven Alexander

1. James Molyneaux served in the RAF between 1941 and 1946. He famously helped in the liberation of Belsen, and the horrors of the Nazi concentration camp had a profound effect on his life.

2. First elected as an MP in South Antrim in 1970, Molyneaux became the MP for Lagan Valley in 1983 after boundary changes. He became leader of the Ulster Unionists at Westminster in 1974. He was already a Deputy Grand Master of the Orange Order, and was a long-serving Sovereign Grand Master of the Royal Black Institution.

3. Molyneaux quit his seat in 1985 alongside other unionist MPS, in protest at the Anglo Irish Agreement. As an integrationist who was close to the Tories, he felt betrayed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He was re-elected in a by-election.

4. In 1982, there were two assassination attempts on Molyneaux's life.

5. Molyneaux stood down as an MP at the 1995 general election, but was an outspoken critic of successor David Trimble and strongly opposed the Good Friday Agreement.

Belfast Telegraph


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