May Blood, Baroness Blood
Blood was born and raised in Belfast and worked in a linen mill from 1952-90 where she soon became an active member of the trade union and a shop steward. She was involved in creating the women's committee in the Trade Union and promoting equality for women at work. Later she worked as a manager of Cairn Martin Wood Products from 1991-94.
Since 1994, she has been an Information Officer of the Greater Shankill Partnership and is a founding member of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition. She was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1995 Birthday Honours. In 1998, she was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Ulster and was created a life peeress as Baroness Blood, of Blackwatertown in the County of Armagh on 31 July 1999. She was the first woman in Northern Ireland to be given a life peerage.
She received an honorary D.Univ from the Queen's University of Belfast in 2000, and again from the Open University the following year. In 2007, she published her autobiography, Watch my Lips, I'm Speaking. In January 2013, Blood was awarded the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award under the Social Driver category for her tireless campaign for integrated education in Northern Ireland, where she helped to raise over £15 million.
In the May 2016 elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly Baroness Blood made an appeal to the electorate to vote for the Labour Party in Northern Ireland members standing as candidates on behalf of the Northern Ireland Representation Committee. The Labour Party (UK) is not a registered political party in Northern Ireland and its members there are not permitted to stand for election as official Labour candidates.
She retired from the House of Lords on 4 September 2018.
- "No. 54066". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 June 1995. p. 15.
- "No. 55574". The London Gazette. 6 August 1999. p. 8518.
- "Celebrated citizen: Baroness May Blood MBE", City Matters, September–October 2009. Belfast City Council.
- Watch my Lips, I'm Speaking, Gill & Macmillan Ltd (September 2007); ISBN 0-7171-4252-3
- "Grassroot Diplomat Who's Who". Grassroot Diplomat. 15 March 2015. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
- "Baroness Blood". UK Parliament.