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Edward Kevin McGrady (3 June 1935 – 11 November 2013) was an Irish nationalist politician from Northern Ireland and a member of the United Kingdom Parliament for South Down.[1]

Eddie McGrady
Eddie McGrady.jpg
Member of Parliament
for South Down
In office
12 June 1987 – 12 April 2010
Preceded byEnoch Powell
Succeeded byMargaret Ritchie
Member of the Legislative Assembly
for South Down
In office
25 June 1998 – 26 November 2003
Preceded byOffice created
Succeeded byMargaret Ritchie
Personal details
Born(1935-06-03)3 June 1935
Downpatrick, Northern Ireland
Died11 November 2013(2013-11-11) (aged 78)
Downpatrick, Northern Ireland
NationalityIrish
Political partySDLP
Spouse(s)Patricia McGrady
ChildrenPaula
Jerry
Conaill
Alma materBelfast Technical College
ProfessionAccountant

Early lifeEdit

Born in Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland, one of eleven children, McGrady was educated at St Patrick's Grammar School, Downpatrick and at Belfast Technical College, where he trained as a chartered accountant, subsequently entering his family's accountancy firm.

Political careerEdit

McGrady entered politics in 1961[2] as an Independent Nationalist councillor on Downpatrick Urban Council, serving as chairman from 1964 until the council was replaced by Down District Council in 1973.

In the late 1960s he joined the National Democrats and stood for the party in the 1969 election to the Parliament of Northern Ireland in East Down, losing to the sitting MP and future Prime Minister of Northern Ireland Brian Faulkner.[3]

In 1970 he became a founder member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), later serving as its first chairman (from 1971–1973). He sat on Down District Council from 1973 to 1989, serving as chairman from 1974–1975 and was also elected to all three regional assemblies in 1973, 1975 and 1982 representing South Down. In the 1973 power-sharing executive he was appointed as Head of the Department of Executive Planning and Co-ordination, serving from January to May 1974.

In Westminster elections he contested South Down unsuccessfully in 1979, 1983 and at the by-election of January 1986, losing on each occasion to Enoch Powell, the sitting MP. He succeeded at the fourth attempt in the general election of 1987 and held the seat until retiring in 2010. His tenure was briefly threatened in the mid-1990s when the Boundary Commission suggested merging much of his constituency with the neighbouring Newry and Armagh constituency to form a new 'Newry and Mourne' constituency. This was overturned during a local review, which preserved his seat and actually removed more Unionist sections such as Dromore. McGrady's support held solid over the years despite talk of a slippage, and this was reinforced in the 2005 Westminster election with his re-election to the House of Commons.[citation needed]

McGrady formerly sat on the Northern Ireland Policing Board and was a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly between 1998 and 2003.

On 25 February 2010, McGrady announced that he would stand down at the 2010 General Election.[4]

McGrady continued to be chairperson of the Lecale Branch of the SDLP.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "BBC News – Former SDLP South Down MP Eddie McGrady dies". BBC News. Bbc.co.uk. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 12 November 2013.
  2. ^ "CAIN: People: Biographies of People Prominent During 'the Troubles' – Mc". Conflict Archive on the Internet.
  3. ^ "Northern Ireland Parliamentary Election Results: Counties: Down". United Kingdom Election Results.
  4. ^ "NI MP to step down after 23 years". BBC News Online. 25 February 2010.
  5. ^ "Ritchie, John". Retrieved 25 February 2013.

External linksEdit

Northern Ireland Assembly (1973)
New assembly Assembly Member for South Down
1973–1974
Assembly abolished
Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention
New convention Member for South Down
1975–1976
Convention dissolved
Northern Ireland Assembly (1982)
New assembly MPA for South Down
1982–1986
Assembly abolished
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Enoch Powell
Member of Parliament for South Down
19872010
Succeeded by
Margaret Ritchie
Northern Ireland Forum
New forum Member for South Down
1996–1998
Forum dissolved
Northern Ireland Assembly
New assembly MLA for Down South
1998–2003
Succeeded by
Margaret Ritchie
Party political offices
New title Chairperson of the Social Democratic and Labour Party
1971–1973
Succeeded by
Denis Haughey
Preceded by
Patricia Lewsley
Chairperson of the Social Democratic and Labour Party
2007–2009
Succeeded by
Joe Byrne