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Text and Research: Brendan Lynn ... Edited and Compiled: Martin Melaugh
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Surname: A B C D E F G H I J K L M Mc N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

| Pascoe | Paisley, I. | Paisley, I. Jnr. | Paterson | Patten | Pike | Powell | Prior | Pym |

Pascoe, Robert (Lieutenant-General) (Sir) (b. 21 February 1932)
British Army Soldier; General Officer Commanding (GOC) Northern Ireland 1985-88

Robert Pascoe had already served on a number of tours of duties in Northern Ireland before in 1985 being appointed to the position of Army General Officer Commanding (GOC) Northern Ireland (1985-88). His period as GOC came at a delicate time following the signing in 1985 of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) between the British and Irish governments. Whilst the authorities in Westminster pressed for improved cross-border security measures he faced calls from Dublin for greater sensitivity to be shown to Northern nationalists during military operations.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 25 March 2003]

Paisley, Ian Richard Kyle (Reverend) (b. 6 April 1926)
Politician; Leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) 1971-present; DUP MP 1970-present; DUP MEP 1979-2004

The son of a Baptist minister Ian Paisley was born in Lurgan, County Armagh, but later educated at Ballymena Model School, Ballymena Technical High School, South Wales Bible College, and the Reformed Presbyterian Theological College in Belfast. In 1946 Paisley was ordained to the Baptist ministry by his father in a ceremony, "... which took place in the presence of three clergymen (all unorthodox) ..." (Marrinan, 1973; p13). In March 1951 Paisley played a central role in the forming of a new church which initially took the name of 'Crossgar Congregation of the Free Presbyterian Chruch of Ulster'. Shortly afterwards Paisley was appointed as Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church. It was through his religious activities, based around a fundamentalist brand of Protestantism, that he first came to public prominence. This was further increased with his condemnations of the growing trend of ecumenism between the other Protestant churches and Catholicism. By the mid 1960s he had also emerged as a vociferous opponent of the unionist political establishment accusing it of seeking to betray the interests of Northern Ireland Protestants by seeking to reach an accommodation with Irish nationalism. In particular Paisley was to target Captain Terence O'Neill, then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, and accused him of weakening the constitutional link with Britain on account of the policies being adopted by his government. This opposition was if anything to intensify after the visit of Séan Lemass, then Irish Taoiseach, to Stormont in January 1965 and led Paisley to launch an "O'Neill must go" campaign.

In all these efforts he was also able to utilise the concerns of sections of the unionist community with regards to the emergence of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland. This led to him establishing two organisations, the Ulster Constitution Defence Committee and Ulster Protestant Volunteers, and these were to be prominent when he began to organise Protestant counter-demonstrations to coincide with civil rights marches. Although there were later claims that such groups were associated with loyalist paramilitary groups these were accusations that Paisley was always to strongly deny. In one instance in Armagh in November 1968 Paisley's involvement in one of these protests led to his arrest and he was later to serve six weeks in jail. At the Northern Ireland general election of February 1969 he unsuccessfully challenged O'Neill in his Bannside constituency and although narrowly defeated his strong electoral performance, further weakened the position of the beleaguered Prime Minister. His growing political influence was further strengthened in 1970 when Paisley first won a seat in the Stormont Parliament at the Bannside by-election of April 1970 (1970-72). In June 1970 at the Westminster he followed this when he was elected the new MP for North Antrim (1970-present). On both occasions he had stood as a representative of the political party he had established, the Protestant Unionist Party (PUP) but in September 1971 joined with other unionist dissidents to help form the (Ulster) Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). In 1973 he assumed the leadership of the DUP (1973-present).

Initially the DUP opposed the Unionist governments of James Chichester-Clark and Brian Faulkner as they sought to introduce measures to address the complaints of the civil rights movement. Then following the suspension of Stormont in March 1972 and the introduction of direct rule from Westminster the DUP joined in the efforts to secure its immediate restoration. When this failed Paisley committed the DUP to work for a return of a legislative assembly for Northern Ireland but rejected any alternative that involved either some form of power-sharing with the minority community or the participation of the Irish government. He therefore led the DUP in both the Northern Ireland Assembly (1973-74), the Constitutional Convention (1975-76) and the Northern Ireland Assembly (1982-86). Furthermore Paisley had also taken a high profile role in the 1974 Ulster Workers' Council (UWC) strike which resulted in the collapse of the short lived power-sharing administration. His relationship with other Unionists at times was often fraught and his failed attempt in 1977 to repeat the UWC was widely condemned. In spite of this setback at the election to the European parliament in June 1979 he was to top the poll (a feat he has repeated in 1984, 1989, 1994 and 1999) and took his seat as an MEP (1979-2004). Throughout the early 1980s the DUP's electoral contests with the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) were frequently bitter as both sought to establish themselves as the dominant voice of Northern Unionism. This rivalry was suspended in 1985/86 as both parties combined to organise a campaign of political resistance against the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA). But by the time the AIA was suspended for a period in the early 1990s, to allow for all-party talks involving the Irish government to take place, relations between the two parties were to deteriorate again.

With the emergence of the 'Peace Process' in Northern Ireland Paisley condemned the Downing Street Declaration (DSD) of December 1993 as another in a long line of "sell outs" by the Brtitish government. A similar response greeted the Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire of August 1994 and the DUP voiced its opposition to any attempt to involve representatives of the Republican movement in a fresh round of political talks. In May 1996 however Paisley again led his party in the elections to the Northern Ireland Forum. After being returned as a member of this new body he agreed to take part in all-party talks in the absence of Sinn Féin (SF) when these got underway in June 1996. The party's commitment to these negotiations however was tenuous and after pulling out on a number of occasions only later to return, the DUP formally withdrew in the summer of 1997 as moves got underway to involve SF in the process. When this culminated with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998 he immediately attacked it and campaigned vigorously for a 'No' vote in the subsequent referendum campaign in May 1998. A month later in June 1998 he was elected to the new Northern Ireland Assembly (1998-present) and since then has been at the forefront of the DUP's ongoing efforts to oppose the GFA. As part of this campaign Paisley and his party again became engaged in a bitter struggle with the UUP. With growing unease amongst sections of the unionist electorate concerning the GFA, this was to ensure that the DUP achieved its best ever result at the Westminster and local government elections of June 2001. This momentum was maintained at the election to the Northern Ireland assembly in November 2003 when the DUP gained ten seats and won 25.6% of the first preference vote. In January 2004 Paisley announced that he would be standing down as an MEP ahead of the election to the European Parliament in June 2004.

Book References:
Bruce, Steve. (1986), God Save Ulster! The Religion and Politics of Paisleyism. Oxford: Clarendon.
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Marrinan, Patrick. (1973) Paisley: Man of Wrath. Tralee: Anvil Books.
Moloney, Ed and Pollak, Andy (1986), Paisley. Dublin: Poolbeg.
Ramsden, John (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Smyth, Clifford. (1987), Ian Paisley, Voice of Protestant Ulster. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press.
Web Sources:

[Entry written by B.Lynn - 20 December 2002; update 10 June 2004]

Paisley, Ian (Junior) (b. 12 April 1956)
Politician; Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MLA

Ian Pailsey Jnr was born in Belfast and received his education at Greenwood Primary School, Strandtown Primary School, Shaftesbury House College, Methodist College, Belfast before going to attend Queens University, Belfast. After graduating with a B.A. (Hons.) in Modern History and a MSSc. in Irish Politics, he began work as a political researcher and parliamentary aide to his father, Ian Paisley, then leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). In May 1996 he was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum for the constituency of North Antrim as a member of the DUP (1996-98). In June 1998 he was again returned for the area to the Northern Ireland Assembly (1998-present). With the formation of the new Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) in November 2001, Ian Paisley Junior was one of the three members of the DUP to take their seats on the board (2001-present).

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Web Sources:
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 24 March 2003]

Paterson, Owen (b. 24 June 1956 )
Politician; Conservative Party; Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 2010-present

A businessman by profession before entering politics, Owen Paterson was first elected as Conservative MP for North Shropshire in May 2007. He was appointed as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in 2007 and continued to serve in that role for the next three years. He was actively involved in efforts to forge an electoral alliance between the Conservatives and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) prior to the 2010 Westminster general election with the objective of running joint candidates in all of Northern Irelandís 18 constituencies. Alongside this he also hosted negotiations between the UUP and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) which aimed to explore the possibility of establishing unionist unity. Then on 11 May 2010, following the Westminster general election on 6 May, a new coalition government was formed by the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. David Cameron, then leader of the Conservative Party, became the new Prime Minister and on 12 May formed his first cabinet with Owen Paterson appointed as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Web Sources:
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 14 April 2011]

Patten, ('Chris') Christopher Francis (b. 12 May 1944)
Politician; Conservative Party MP; Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) 1983-85; Chairman of the Independent Commission on Police 1998-99

A graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, Chris Patten entered politics when he became a full-time research officer with the Conservative Party in Britain and later served as Director of its Research Department. In 1979 Patten was elected MP for Bath (1979-92) and although employed as a speech writer for Margaret Thatcher, then leader of the Conservative Party, he was never close politically to her. As a result his ministerial career took time to develop, with Patten's first appointment not coming until 1983, when he was given a post at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) (1983-85). During his time at the NIO, Patten was widely regarded as a competent figure although his decision to allow Derry City Council to change its official name from Londonderry to Derry angered many unionists. After leaving Northern Ireland Patten went onto hold a number of other junior positions before in 1989 joining the Cabinet as Environment Secretary (1989-90). In 1990 he was appointed as Chairman of the Conservative Party and took charge of the campaign that saw it returned to power after the 1992 general election. But having lost his own parliamentary seat, Patten was made the last Governor of Hong Kong (1992-97) and oversaw its hand over to China in 1997.

In 1998 in the wake of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in Northern Ireland Patten was invited by Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, to chair an Independent Commission on the future of policing. In September 1999 this body produced its final report, which became known as the Patten Report, which recommended fundamental changes to the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC). Within Northern Ireland the political response was mixed with unionists alleging the proposed changes had gone too far whilst for nationalists and republicans, the report was viewed as not being radical enough. In the end however many of the reforms proposed by Patten became the basis for the Police (Northern Ireland ) Bill which passed through Westminster to become law in November 2000. Since September 1999 Patten has served as one of Britain's representatives on the European Commission and has responsibility for foreign affairs and external relations.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Ramsden, John (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Web Sources:
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 20 December 2002]

Pike, Hew (Lieutenant General) (b.1943)
British Army Soldier; General Officer Commanding (GOC) Northern Ireland 1997-2000
[Entry to be included at a later date]

Powell, Enoch John (b. 16 June 1912)
Politician; Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP 1974-1987

Before becoming directly involved in Northern Ireland politics, Enoch Powell had served as Conservative MP for Wolverhampton South West (1950-74) and from 1960 to 1963 as Minister for Health. His relationship with the party leadership however had not recovered since his dismissal in 1963 over controversial comments concerning race relations. If anything this relationship had grown worse with his public opposition to Britain joining the European Economic Community (EEC). As a result Powell refused to stand as a Conservative candidate at the February 1974 general election. Having displayed support and sympathy for the Unionist position in Northern Ireland he was approached by the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) to represent the party in the constituency of South Down at the general election of October 1974. In the subsequent contest he won the seat (1974-87) and over the next few years proved to be a controversial figure within the UUP.

Whilst elements of the party sought to secure the return of some form of devolved government back to Northern Ireland Powell instead argued against such a move. Instead he called for greater integration with the rest of the United Kingdom and to the anger of some within the UUP, it was believed that his view seemed increasingly to win the support of James Molyneaux, then leader of the UUP. By the general election of 1987 his majority in South Down was coming under increasing pressure and after a series of close results, Powell lost the seat to Eddie McGrady the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) candidate. After his defeat he did however maintain links with South Down Unionists and continued to issue warnings of an "Anglo-American plot" to establish a united Ireland within the North Atlantic Treaty.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney., and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Shepherd, Robert. (1996), Enoch Powell. London: Hutchinson.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 28 March 2003]

Prior, ('Jim') James Michael Leathes (Life Peerage 1987) (b. 11 October 1927)
Politician; Conservative Party MP; Secretary of State for Northern Ireland September 1981 - September 1984

Jim Prior was educated at Charterhouse and Pembroke College, Cambridge, from where he was to graduate with a degree in Estate Management. In 1959 Prior was elected to the House of Commons as the Conservative MP for the constituency of Lowestoft (1959-83) and also went onto represent the seat of Waveney (1983-87). His ministerial career began as a member of the government of Edward Heath (1970-74) and he served in the Cabinet as Minister of Agriculture (1970-72) and as Leader of the Commons (1972-74). When the Conservative Party returned to power following the 1979 general election Prior was appointed as Employment Minister (1979-81). In this role however he was soon to come into conflict with Margaret Thatcher, then Prime Minister, over many aspects of the government's social and economic policy. By the middle of 1981 the relationship had deteriorated to the extent that in September 1981 he was moved, against his wishes, to a new position as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1981-84).

On his arrival Prior made clear that he was determined to make progress towards reaching a political solution but was faced immediately by more pressing problems. Although the hunger strike by republican prisoners was coming to an end, its aftermath was to see an upsurge in Republican paramilitary activity. The perceived inability of Prior to counteract this with a tough security response, led to growing resentment from within the unionist community and he was to come under a great deal of criticism. In spite of these setbacks he did however decide to press on with his goal of securing a political breakthrough that would allow devolved power to return to Northern Ireland. On this front, his initial plan was based on a model closely related to the manner in which the President of the United Sates of America formed his cabinet. In other words Prior proposed establishing a local administration to which he would then appoint individuals to fill the ministerial positions. When this proposal received little support he dropped it in favour of an alternative which soon became known as 'Rolling Devolution'.

In essence under this scheme a new assembly would be elected for Northern Ireland but with limited powers. Over time however if it proved capable of managing its affairs on a 'cross-community basis' then it would be given increased responsibility. Unfortunately the plan did not win the overwhelming support of Northern Ireland politicians. To begin with unionists soon voiced their concerns that what was being proposed was merely yet another attempt to introduce power-sharing. In addition they remained wary of any effort by the British government to also encompass into the scheme some form of Irish dimension. As for Northern nationalists, the lack of any firm of commitment from Prior to ensure that power-sharing and an Irish dimension would be introduced, made them very sceptical. Further problems then arose when it became clear that the authorities in Dublin would not give their backing to the plan and within his own government there was only lukewarm support for his proposals. But he remained determined to press ahead with his plan for 'rolling devolution' and in October 1982 the elections to the Assembly took place.

Right from the outset however it soon became clear that Prior's plan was doomed to failure. The Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), the largest party representing nationalist opinion in Northern Ireland, made it clear that under no circumstances would they be taking their seats. Thus even though pro-unionist parties were prepared to participate without the presence of the SDLP it was obvious that the Assembly would never secure the necessary cross-community support. As a result by the time Prior left his post as Northern Ireland Secretary in September 1984 his scheme had not succeeded in ending the political stalemate. He never again held ministerial office and before the 1987 general election he announced his intention to resign as an MP. Later in 1987 he was awarded a life peerage and took the title of Lord Prior of Brampton.

Book References:
Arthur, Paul. (2000), Special Relationships: Britain, Ireland and the Northern Ireland Problem. Belfast: Blackstaff.
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Hennessey, Thomas. (1997), A History of Northern Ireland 1920-1996. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Prior, James. (1986), A Balance of Power. London: Hamilton.
Ramsden, John (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 20 December 2002]

Pym, Francis (Life Peerage 1983) (b. 13 February 1922)
Politician; Conservative Party MP; Secretary of State for Northern Ireland November 1973 - February 1974

After a government reshuffle by Edward Heath, then British Prime Minister, Francis Pym was appointed as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in November 1973. He took up this new post in the wake of the Sunningdale Conference and it fell to him to oversee the establishment of the new power-sharing executive in January 1974. But his stay in Northern Ireland was to be ended in February 1974 when the Conservative Party lost power following the general election result. He did however later return to the cabinet and served as Defence Secretary and Foreign Secretary under Margaret Thatcher. Prior to the 1983 election Pym announced his intention to stand down as an MP and later that year was awarded a life peerage, taking his seat in the House of Lords as Lord Pym of Sand.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Pym, Francis. (1984), The Politics of Consent. London: Hamish Hamilton.
Ramsden, John (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 20 December 2002]

The information has been compiled from numerous primary and secondary sources.
The best general sources for additional information are:
  • Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory, 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
  • McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
  • Ramsden, John. (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    For related and background information see also:
  • The list of acronyms associated with 'the Troubles'
  • The glossary of terms related to the conflict
  • The abstracts on prominent organisations
  • The chronology of the conflict

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