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Ian Adamson OBE (28 June 1944 – 9 January 2019)[1] was a Lord Mayor of Belfast. He was a member of the Ulster Unionist Party and was also a paediatrician.

Ian Adamson

Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Belfast East
In office
25 June 1998 – 26 November 2003
Preceded byNew Creation
Succeeded byMichael Copeland
Personal details
Born(1944-06-28)28 June 1944
Bangor, County Down
Died9 January 2019(2019-01-09) (aged 74)
Conlig, County Down
Political partyUlster Unionist Party
Alma materQueen's University Belfast


Early lifeEdit

Adamson was born in 1944 in Bangor, County Down and raised in the nearby village of Conlig.[1]


He was an Ulster Unionist member of Belfast City Council from 1989, becoming that Party's first Honorary Historian, until his retirement from active politics in 2011.

He had served as Deputy Lord Mayor in 1994-95 and then Lord Mayor of Belfast in 1996-97 and was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty The Queen in 1998 for services to local government. He was an MLA for Belfast East from 1998 until 2003. He was the personal physician and advisor on history and culture to Ian Paisley (First Minister of Northern Ireland 2007–08)[2] from 2004 until the latter's death in 2014.

He was the maître-à-penser of a version of the Prehistory of Ireland based on the theory of the Cruthin.[3]

On 18 July 1978, he was accepted as a Member of the International Medical Association of Lourdes for services to the disabled children and young people of the Falls Parish in Belfast. He has a special interest in the long-term unemployed and became the founder secretary of Farset Youth and Community Development in 1981.

In 1989, he became founder Chairman of the Somme Association based at Craigavon House, Circular Road, Belfast, under the auspices of Her Royal Highness Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester and established the Somme Heritage Centre, now Museum, at Conlig, in 1994.[4]

He founded the Ullans Academy, of which he is now President, followed by the Ulster-Scots Language Society in 1992 and became the first Rector and founder Chairman of the Ulster Scots Academy in 1994.[5] He is a founder member of the Cultural Traditions Group, the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council and the Ultach Trust, and served as a member of the Ulster-Scots Agency, 2003-12.[6] He is presently President of the Belfast Civic Trust.

Adamson was a Specialist in Community Child Health (Community Paediatrics) being a member of the Faculty of Community Health and was awarded the fellowship of the Royal Institute of Public Health for his services to the health of young people in 1998. He was awarded a special commendation by His Royal Highness Prince Charles Prince of Wales. He was an Executive Board Member of the London-based Association of Port Health Authorities, 2005–11 (Chairman of the Border Inspection Post Committee, 2005–06 and Imported Food Committee, 2006–11). Vice-President of The Somme Association, Adamson was a member of the boards of many other local public sector and voluntary civic organisations.

In his later years, be became a Patron of the Dalaradia Group. Based in Newtownabbey they slowly evolved from the peace process as a vehicle for working class loyalists in County Antrim, many of whom were ex-combatants, to engage in the transformation of their communities after the troubles.[7]



  • The Cruthin: A History of the Ulster Land and People, (Newtownards: Nosmada Books 1974, 2nd edn. Bangor: Donard Publishing Co. 1978, 3rd edn. Bangor: Pretani Press 1986, 5th imp 1995); ISBN 0-9503461-0-1, 4th edn Newtownards: Colourpoint Books, an imprint of Colourpoint Creative Ltd, 2014); ISBN 978-1-78073-066-0
  • Bangor, Light of the world, (Bangor: Fairview Press 1979, 2nd edn. Belfast: Pretani Press 1987); ISBN 0-948868-06-6, 3rd edn. Newtownards: Colourpoint Books, 2015) ISBN 978-1-78073-093-6
  • The Battle of Moira, [ed.,] Sir Samuel Ferguson, Congal (Newtownards: Nosmada Books 1980) Introduction by Dr Ian Adamson OBE
  • The Identity of Ulster: The Land, the Language and the People, (Belfast : Pretani Press 1982, 2nd edn. 1987, 5th imp. 1995); ISBN 0-948868-04-X
  • The Ulster People: Ancient, Medieval and Modern, (Bangor: Pretani Press 1991) ISBN 0-948868-13-9
  • William and the Boyne, (Newtownards: Pretani Press, 1995); ISBN 0-948868-20-1
  • Dalaradia, Kingdom of the Cruthin, (Belfast: Pretani Press 1998); ISBN 0-948868-26-0/ISBN 0-948868-25-2
  • Bombs on Belfast The Blitz 1941 (Newtownards: Colourpoint Books in association with Belfast Telegraph 2011 (1st published Belfast: Pretani Press 1984); ISBN 978-1-906578-91-6
  • The Bangor Book 2016 ed Kenneth Irvine, (Ards and North Down Borough Council) Translations from Mediæval Latin by Dr Ian Adamson OBE; ISBN 978-1-5272-0103-3


  • The Ullans Academy in Legislation, Literature and Sociolinguistics: Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and Scotland, edited by John Kirk and Dónall P. Ó Baoill (Belfast: Queen’s University 2005); ISBN 0-85389-874-X
  • The Ulster-Scots Movement (edited by Wesley Hutchinson and Clíona Ni Ríordáin), Brussels: P.I.E. Peter Lang 2010; ISBN 978-90-5201-649-8
  • Somme Memories in Towards Commemoration: Ireland in war and revolution, 1912-1923, edited by John Horne and Edward Madigan (Dublin, Royal Irish Academy 2013); ISBN 978-1-908996-17-6
  • Common Identity in Ulster-Scots in Northern Ireland Today: Language, Culture Community L'Ulster-Scots en Irelande du Nord aujourd’hui: langue, culture, communauté compiled by Wesley Hutchinson (Rennes, Presses Universitaires 2014); ISBN 978-2-7535-2887-1.


  1. ^ a b "Former Lord Mayor of Belfast Ian Adamson dies aged 74". – via
  2. ^ Forde, Hugh (2015). Northern Ireland: Our Lesser Known History. Bannside Library Ltd. pp. Tribute. ISBN 978-0-9934157-0-8.
  3. ^ Hutchinson, Wesley (1999). espaces de l'imaginaire unioniste nord-irlandais. France: Presses Universitaires de Caen. p. 129. ISBN 978-2-84133-100-0.
  4. ^ "Battlelines". Journal of the Somme Association. 1. 1990.
  5. ^ Hutchinson & Ni Riordain (2010). Language Issues: Ireland, France,Spain. Brussels: Peter Lang. pp. 33–41. ISBN 978-90-5201-649-8.
  6. ^ Hay, Martin (2009). Institute of Ulster-Scots Studies, Working Papers Volume 1. Belfast: University of Ulster. pp. 25–27. ISBN 978-1-85923-232-3.
  7. ^ "Dr. Ian Adamson OBE".
Northern Ireland Assembly
New assembly MLA for Belfast East
Succeeded by
Michael Copeland
Civic offices
Preceded by
Hugh Smyth
Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast
Succeeded by
Alasdair McDonnell
Preceded by
Eric Smyth
Lord Mayor of Belfast
Succeeded by
Alban Maginness
Preceded by
Christopher Stalford
High Sheriff of Belfast
Succeeded by
May Campbell