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| Maginnis | Maguire | Major | Mallon | Mandleson | Maskey | Mason | Maudling | Mawhinney | Mayhew | Mitchell | Molyneaux | Morrell | Morrice | Morrow | Mowlam | Murphy | Murray |

Maginnis, ('Ken') Kenneth (Life Peerage 2001) (b. 21 January 1968)
Politician; Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP 1983-2001

Ken Maginnis was born in County Tyrone and educated at the Royal School Dungannon and Stranmillis Teacher Training College, Belfast before pursuing a career as a teacher. In addition Maginnis was to serve in the Ulster Special Constabulary ('B-Specials') and later the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR). He was first returned as a public representative in May 1981 as an Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) councillor on Dungannon District Council (1981-93). In August 1981 Maginnis was the party's unsuccessful candidate at the Westminster by-election in Fermanagh and South Tyrone. This defeat however was overturned at the general election of 1983 when he won the seat with a comfortable majority (1983-2001). In addition to his role as an MP, Maginnis also sat in the Northern Ireland Assembly (1982-86) and acted as the UUP's spokesman on security matters (1982-2001).

Following the resignation of James Molyneaux, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), in 1995 Maginnis contested the leadership and was widely seen by many commentators as representing the liberal wing of the party. Although his attempt failed Maginnis soon emerged as a close ally of the new leader of the UUP, David Trimble, and this became more evident when in May 1996 he was returned to the Northern Ireland Forum (1996-98). As a member of the UUP's delegation to the all-party talks that were to finally produce the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) he was a firm supporter of the stance and tactics adopted by Trimble. Furthermore in the subsequent referendum campaign on the GFA in May 1998 Maginnis actively campaigned for a 'Yes' vote. Later he was also to prove a prominent defender of the approach taken by his leader in the face of internal party criticism and in particular over the decision to participate in a power sharing Executive with Sinn Fein (SF) without complete decommissioning by the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Prior to the 2001 Westminster general election Maginnis announced his intention to retire as an MP and later in 2001 after receiving a life peerage took his seat in the House of Lords as Lord Maginnis of Drumglass.

Book References:
Cochrane, Feargal. (2001), Unionist Politics and the Politics of Unionism since the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Cork: Cork University Press.
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Hennessey, Thomas. (2000), The Northern Ireland Peace Process: Ending the Troubles? London: Gill & Macmillan.
McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 30 March 2003]


Maguire, Francis (Frank)(b. 1929)
Politician; Independent MP 1974-81

A publican from Lisnaskea in County Fermanagh, Frank Maguire first came to prominence in October 1974 when he successfully fought and won the Westminster parliamentary seat of Fermanagh and South Tyrone as an Independent (1974-81). As someone who had been involved in the Republican movement in the late 1950s and who had been interned as a result, his main interest as an MP was the welfare of prisoners from Ireland serving sentences in English jails on terrorist offences. This was largely done however without Maguire ever speaking at Westminster as he largely followed an abstentionist policy and he had yet to give his maiden speech before his death in March 1981. Maguire's death led to the by-election at which the Republican hunger-striker Bobby Sands was elected as the new MP for Fermanagh and South-Tyrone in April 1981.

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


Major, John (b. 29 March 1943)
Politician; Conservative Party MP; British Prime Minister 1990-97

John Major was born in South London and attended Rutlish Grammar School but left at the age of sixteen and had a variety of jobs before joining Standard Chartered Bank (1965-79) rising to the rank of bank executive. He first became involved in politics by joining the Conservative Party and his first experience as a public representative came when he served on Lambeth Borough Council (1968-71). After a number of unsuccessful attempts to become an MP, he was finally to succeed at the 1979 general election when he was returned for the constituency of Huntingdon (1979-2001). Major held a series of junior ministerial posts in which he was to develop a solid reputation but his appointment to the cabinet in 1989 to one of the most senior positions, as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (July-October 1989), came as a surprise to many. But his stay in this role was to be brief and after another government reshuffle in October 1989, Major became Chancellor of Exchequer (October 1989 - November 1990). With the fall of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party in November 1990 he emerged to succeed her in both these positions (1990-97).

Although Major's term in office was to be shaped by pressing domestic and foreign affairs, matters relating to Northern Ireland also took up a considerable amount of his time. Gradually under his government there was to be a subtle change in approach compared to that of his immediate predecessor in a number of ways. For instance he seemed prepared to devote more time to the subject. This was clearly seen in his encouragement of the all-party negotiations involving the authorities in London and Dublin and the main political parties in the period 1991 to 1992. Even when these were to end without a great deal of progress having been made in November 1992 he did not completely abandon the issue. Major was also anxious to improve relations with the Irish government and in attempting to do was assisted by the good relationship he had built up with the newly appointed Irish Taoiseach, Albert Reynolds. This was to be crucial when both men became drawn into the ongoing negotiations that had been taking place between John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF). Although rejecting the agreement reached between Hume and Adams, the two Prime Ministers agreed to work on their own proposals in order to kick-start the political progress. At the same time the authorities in London had also recommenced preliminary secret discussions with the Republican movement. Eventually these developments were to lead in December 1993 to the publication by the British and Irish governments of the Downing Street Declaration (DSD). The DSD was then to set in train a series of events which were to finally produce, in August 1994, a ceasefire by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

The 'Peace Process' that had seemingly now been developed was about to enter into a crucial period. To the anger of nationalist opinion in Ireland Major's government chose to make a cautious response to the IRA's ceasefire. For example he set a number of conditions before their public representatives could enter into the proposed all-party talks. At first this was based on whether the ceasefire was 'permanent' in nature and then focussed on the demands for the decommissioning of paramilitary weapons. Whilst he chose to defend his stance as necessary in order to judge whether the involvement of republicans was genuine others saw an alternative motive. In particular these centred on claims that in order to keep his minority government in power Major had chosen to adopt the policy of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) on these matters in return for their support at Westminster on important votes. Attempts were made however to try to overcome the apparent impasse. For instance in February 1995 along with John Bruton, then Irish Taoiseach, Major launched the Framework Document. In November 1995 both men outlined proposals which set out to allow for political negotiations to begin whilst the issue of decommissioning would be dealt with on a separate basis.

These efforts to end the stalemate were ultimately to fail and this was illustrated by the breakdown of the IRA ceasefire in February 1996. In the aftermath of these he made it clear that without the immediate restoration of this alongside clear evidence of its permanency, then Republicans would be excluded from the multi-party talks scheduled to begin in June 1996. At the Westminster general election of May 1997 the Conservative Party suffered a heavy defeat and, having been replaced as Prime Minister, Major stood down from the leadership of the party. He remained an MP however and welcomed the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998. In the subsequent referendum on the GFA in May 1998, he actively campaigned in Northern Ireland for a 'Yes' vote. Prior to the British general election of June 2001 he announced his intention not to stand as a candidate and to retire from active politics.

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.
Major, John. (1999), John Major: The Autobiography. London: Harper Collins
Seldon, Anthony. (1997), John Major: A Political Life. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
Web Sources:
http://www.britannia.com/gov/primes/prime57.html
http://www.hewett.norfolk.sch.uk/curric/POLIT/brit/major.htm
http://www.number10.gov.uk/output/page125.asp
http://www.johnmajor.co.uk/about.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/673348.stm
http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0831281.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/1170144.stm
[Entry written by B.Lynn 5 December 2002]


Mallon, Seamus (b. 17 August 1936)
Politcian; Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) MP 1986-present; Deputy First Minister 1999-2001

Seamus Mallon was born in Markethill, County Armagh and educated at the Abbey Grammar School, Newry and later qualified as a school-teacher after graduating from St. Joseph's Teacher Training College, Belfast. Mallon first became involved politics by way of the civil rights campaign in the 1960s and served as Chairman of the Mid-Armagh Anti-Discrimination Committee (1963-68). Shortly after the formation of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in 1970 he became a member and in 1979 was chosen as its Deputy Leader (1979-2001). In 1973 he was returned to Armagh District Council (1973-89) as well as being elected as one of the party's representative for the constituency of Armagh in the Northern Ireland Assembly (1973-74) and the Constitutional Convention (1975-76). On two occasions, in October 1974 and May 1979, he unsuccessfully contested the Westminster seat of Armagh and in June 1983 failed in his attempt to become MP for the new constituency of Newry and South Armagh.

As deputy leader of the SDLP he was in favour of the approach taken by the party leader, John Hume, that any proposed political solution based within Northern Ireland was unworkable. In particular Mallon was anxious to promote the idea that the Irish government should have a greater say in the administration of Northern Ireland and this attitude led to him suggesting that the SDLP should boycott the elections for the new Northern Ireland Assembly in October 1982. This was based on his belief that not only would the powers devolved to this body be limited but that no effort had been made to encompass a strong Irish dimension. In the end however the party decided to contest this poll and Mallon was subsequently returned as a member of the Assembly for Newry and South Armagh (1982-86). But in line with party policy to boycott this body he did not take his seat. In any case his membership of the Irish Senate, to which he had been appointed in May 1982, was later ruled by an Election Court in December 1982 to make him ineligible to be elected to the Assembly and he was therefore unseated.

In spite of this setback he maintained a high profile as the party's spokesperson on Justice (1979-1998). Furthermore he was one of the SDLP's delegates to the New Ireland Forum in Dublin (1983-84). In January 1986 in a by-election for the Westminster parliament called by Unionists as a means to voice their opposition to the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA), Mallon won the Newry and South Armagh seat (1986-present). This success established him fully as one of the leading figures in the SDLP and in his role as an MP he voiced the party's full support for the AIA. His involvement in the inter-party talks during the period 1991 to 1992 saw him re-emphasise his convictions that in any future political settlement for Northern Ireland it was essential that the Irish government should have a substantial executive role. Although his relationship with Hume was often seen as difficult, Mallon supported his party leader during his series of discussions with Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF).

With the emergence of the 'Peace Process' in the 1990s Mallon was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum in May 1996 and once the multi-party talks began in September 1997, he acted as chief negotiator for the SDLP. In the wake of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998 he was returned as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (1998-2003) at the elections in June 1998. Following the decision of John Hume to stand aside, Mallon assumed the position of Deputy First Minister (designate) in June 1998. Just over a year later in June 1999 however the slow implementation of the GFA led him to tender his resignation. After further negotiations he returned as Deputy First Minister (1999-2001) once the power-sharing executive proposed under the GFA was finally established in November 1999. He retained this position, notwithstanding a period of suspension of the GFA, until announcing his attention to retire from the post in November 2001. He also declared his intention to resign as Deputy Leader of the SDLP, although for the time being he chose to remain as an MP and a member of the Assembly. Then a few months later Mallon announced that he would not be standing as a candidate for the SDLP in any future Assembly or Westminster elections.

Book References:
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.
Murray, Gerard. (1998), John Hume and the SDLP: Impact and Survival in Northern Ireland. Dublin: Irish Academic Press.
Web Sources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/troubles/agreement/assembly.shtml
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/northern_ireland/understanding/profiles/seamus_mallon.stm
http://www.globalgateway.com/assembly/mallon.asp
http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/members/biogs/smallon.htm
http://www.politicallinks.co.uk/POLITICS2/BIOG/MP_BIOGS/bio.asp?id=426
[Entry written by B.Lynn 5 December 2002; updated 10 June 2004]


Mandleson, Peter (b. 21 October 1953)
Politician; Labour Party MP; Secretary of State for Northern Ireland October 1999 - January 2001

Peter Mandleson was born in London and educated at Hendon County Grammar School before attending St. Catherine's College, Oxford from where he graduated in 1976 with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Mandleson first came to prominence as the Labour Party's director of communications from 1985 to 1990 and was seen as a leading figure in its attempt to modernise and reform. Then at the general election of April 1992 he became a Labour MP representing the constituency of Hartlepool (1992-present). Although still a backbench MP he was appointed campaign director in the May 1997 election that brought the party back to power. As a close ally of Tony Blair, Leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister, it came as no surprise when he was appointed first to a junior ministerial post and then to the Cabinet in 1998 as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (July 1998 - December 1998). His stay in this position however was to be brief and after allegations of financial misconduct, he resigned in December 1998.

In spite of this event, his high profile and close relationship with the Prime Minister gave rise to rumours that this setback would be a temporary one. This proved to be the case and in October 1999 he returned to the cabinet as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (October 1999 - January 2001). Now faced with the task of managing the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) Mandleson had some initial success. In November 1999 he was to take part in the discussions that finally secured the deal that allowed for the establishment of the Northern Ireland Executive in November 1999. But then within a matter of weeks he was faced with further problems when in February 2000 he moved to re-introduce direct rule when the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) set a deadline for the commencement of Irish Republican Army (IRA) decommissioning. His decision, whilst it was welcomed by unionists, was roundly condemned by nationalist and republican opinion. Further negotiations between the British and Irish governments along with the pro-GFA parties in Northern Ireland, in which he participated, then took place. Eventually a deal was agreed setting out how the rest of the Agreement should be implemented. This then allowed Mandleson to restore devolved power back to the Executive in May 2000.

However major difficulties still remained to be tackled particularly over the issue of police reform and it fell to him to guide the necessary legislation through the Westminster parliament. Not surprisingly this pleased neither side in Northern Ireland with unionists opposed to many of the changes being proposed. This then gave rise to allegations that Mandleson was prepared to take on board such criticisms in order to placate the UUP. For nationalists and republicans however this whole episode only further heightened their concerns that Mandleson's handling of the situation was further evidence of his alleged pro-unionist stance to the process of implementing the GFA. Then in January 2001 following further accusations of alleged political misconduct he was forced once again to resign from the government and returned to the backbenches.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
MacIntyre, Donald. (1947), Mandelson and The Making of New Labour. London: HarperCollins, 1999.
Ramsden, John. (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Routledge, Paul. (1999), Mandy: The Unauthorised Biography of Peter Mandleson. London: Simon&Schuster
Web Sources:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/northern_ireland/understanding/profiles/peter_mandelson.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/1170144
http://www.petermandelson.com/biography.shtml
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/1134392.stm
http://www.politicalli nks.co.uk/POLITICS2/BIOG/MP_BIOGS/bio.asp?id=304
[Entry written by B.Lynn 5 December 2002]


Maskey, Alex (b. 8 January 1952)
Politician; Sinn Féin (SF) MLA

Alex Maskey was educated at St Malachy's College, and Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education before going to work as a labourer in Belfast docks. Following the outbreak of civil unrest in Northern Ireland after 1969, Maskey became involved in Republican activities and was interned on two occasions. In 1983 he became the first Sinn Féin (SF) councillor elected to Belfast City Council (1983-present). As a close ally of Gerry Adams, then President of SF, he actively supported the moves to develop the Republican movement's electoral mandate. In May 1996 Maskey was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum for the constituency of West Belfast (1996-98) and was subsequently a member of the SF delegation at the all-party talks that were to produce the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998. Following the election to the Northern Ireland Assembly in June 1998, Maskey was again returned for West Belfast and became Party Whip in the new body (1998-2003). In June 2002 he again made history when he was successfully nominated as the first SF member to hold the office of Lord Mayor of Belfast (2002-2003). At the election to the Northern Ireland Assembly in November 2003 Maskey was returned as a member for the constituency of South Belfast (2003-present).

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Web Sources:
http://www.stratagem-ni.org/
http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/members/biogs/amaskey.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2027335.stm
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 24 March 2003; updated 9 June 2004]


Mason, Roy (Life Peerage 1987) (b. 18 April 1924)
Politician; Labour Party MP; Secretary of State for Northern Ireland September 1976 - May 1979

Born near Barnsley, England, Roy Mason left school at the age of 14 to work in the mines in the Yorkshire coal field. He remained in the coal industry until 1953 when he was elected as the Labour MP for Barnsley (1953-87). In the Labour governments of the period 1964-70 he was to hold a series of junior ministerial posts before being appointed to the Cabinet in 1969 as President of the Board of Trade (1969-70). When his party returned to power in 1974 he then served for two years as Secretary of State for Defence (1974-76). Following a government reshuffle in September 1976 he became Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and held the post until Labour lost the May 1979 general election.

His arrival in the north of Ireland in 1976 came at a time of political stalemate and over the next three years he failed to make any significant progress. Instead Mason decided to concentrate on addressing the security situation and in particular attempted to contain the campaign of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). In seeking to achieve this his term in office was marked by a number of important initiatives. For instance, the Special Air Service (SAS) was first introduced into Northern Ireland and then over time its role was increased. Furthermore there was the continuation of the changing emphasis in security policy begun by his predecessor whereby the use of the British Army was reduced in favour of increasing the role of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) and the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR). This policy soon became known as 'Ulsterisation'. Other initiatives were also tried to reduce support for paramilitary groups by way of a greater emphasis on economic development. The most obvious example of this came with the establishment of the De Lorean car factory in West Belfast. With the fall of the Labour government in May 1979 Mason was never again to hold ministerial office and having announced his intention to retire as an MP before the 1987 general election he was given a life peerage. Thus later in 1987 he took his seat in the House of Lords as Lord Mason of Barnsley.

Book References:
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.
Ramsden, John (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[Entry written by B.Lynn 5 December 2002]


Maudling, Reginald (b. 7 March 1917)
Politician; Conservative Party MP; British Home Secretary 1970-72

Reginald Maudling was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, and Merton College, Oxford, before serving with the armed forces during the Second World War. As a barrister, Maudling stood for the Conservative Party at the 1945 general election but was unsuccessful and did not become an MP until 1950 when returned for the constituency of Barnet (1950-79). By the end of the 1950s he had entered the Cabinet and in 1962 was appointed as Chancellor of the Exchequer (1962-64). When the Conservative Party returned to office following the 1970 general election Maudling became the new Home Secretary (1970-72). In the wake of the growing instability in Northern Ireland this department increasingly had to deal with the region and therefore Maudling's ministerial responsibilities were greatly increased.

Although Maudling had given a clear commitment that he would continue to support the programme of reforms initiated by the previous Labour administration the new government was also anxious to introduce a tougher security response. This was to have decidedly mixed response with the minority Catholic community alienated by the introduction of Internment in August 1971. In addition relations between the authorities in London and Belfast deteriorated as both sought to control the management of security policy in Northern Ireland. As Home Secretary Mauldling was closely involved in such developments and in January 1972, whilst making a statement in the Commons on events on Bloody Sunday in Derry, he was physically attacked by Bernadette Devlin (later McAliskey), then Independent Nationalist MP for Mid Ulster. A short time later he resigned in the wake of a police investigation into one of his business associates.

Book References:
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.
Ramsden, John. (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 26 March 2003]


Mawhinney, Brian Stanley (b. 26 July 1940)
Politician; Conservative Party MP; Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) 1990-92

Born and educated in Belfast, Brian Mawhinney continued his studies in the United States of America and England before pursuing a career as a lecturer in medicine. In 1979 he was elected as Conservative MP for the constituency of Peterborough (1979-97) and later went on to represent Cambridgeshire North-West (1997-present). His ministerial career began in the early 1980s with him serving in a number of junior government positions including a spell at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) as an Under Secretary with responsibility for matters relating to education and information. In 1986 he was promoted within the NIO to the rank of Minister of State (1986-90) and sought to convince Unionist opinion that the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) did not threaten Northern Ireland's position within the United Kingdom.

For a period he continued to deal with education matters and strongly promoted the cause of integrated schools. By 1991 Mawhinney was effectively deputy to Peter Brooke, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and accompanied Brooke to the political talks involving some of the Northern Ireland parties in April 1991. After the 1992 British general election Mawhinney entered the Cabinet as Secretary of State at the Department of Health (1992-94) and in 1994 was made Secretary of State at the Department of Transport (1994-5). In 1995 he was appointed as Chairman of the Conservative Party (1995-97) and Minister without Portfolio (1995-97).

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Mawhinney, Brian. (1999), In the Firing Line: Politics, Faith, Power and Forgiveness. London: HarperCollins.
Mawhinney, Brian. and Wells, Ron. (1975), Conflict and Christianity in Northern Ireland. Berkhamsted : Lion Publishing, 1975.
Ramsden, John. (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Web Sources:
http://www.politicallinks.co.uk/POLITICS2/BIOG/MP_BIOGS/bio.asp?id=118
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/vote2001/candidates/candidates/1/11801.stm
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 26 March 2003]


Mayhew, Patrick (Life Peerage 1997) (b. 11 September 1929)
Politician; Conservative Party MP; Secretary of State for Northern Ireland April 1992 - May 1997

A lawyer by profession before he entered politics, Patrick Mayhew was elected as a Conservative MP in 1974 for the constituency of Tunbridge Wells (1974-97). With his legal background his first ministerial experiences came as Solicitor-General (1983-87) and as Attorney-General (1987-92). In this latter role he had angered nationalist and republican opinion in Northern Ireland as well as the Irish government through a series decisions in the late 1980s and early 1990s. When in April 1992 he was appointed as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1992-97) there was therefore some initial suspicion of him. In spite of this Mayhew pressed ahead with efforts to re-start the all-party talks initiated by his predecessor Peter Brooke and with the support of the Irish government these began again in late April 1992. Although these were to later break up in November 1992 without any agreement as to how the political stalemate could be ended he was keen to stress that a basis had been laid for future progress.

In order to try to inject new impetus into the by now stalled process, Mayhew was to make a number of suggestions in December 1992. Although restating British government policy concerning Northern Ireland's constitutional position he also went onto elaborate the possibility of involving the republican movement in future dialogue in the wake of the Irish Republican Army's (IRA) campaign having permanently ended. No immediate breakthrough resulted but his message was later considered to be significant in the context of the emergence of the 'Peace Process' in Northern Ireland in the mid-1990s. With regards to his response to the talks that had taken place between John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), and Gerry Adams, then President of Sinn Féin (SF), he refused to join in the outright condemnation of Hume. Instead Mayhew praised his courage but repeated that Britain would refuse to talk to SF whilst violence continued. Such views were however to cause him some embarrassment when it emerged in November 1993 that his government had already been involved in secret contacts with the republican movement.

After considering whether to resign from his position, he chose to remain after receiving the full backing of the Prime Minister, John Major. Mayhew was therefore still in office when the British and Irish governments released the Downing Street Declaration (DSD) in December 1993. In the period after the DSD he was cautious about the prospect of a political breakthrough but remained optimistic that progress could eventually be made. A similar response followed in the wake of the announcement by the IRA of its ceasefire in August 1994. Whilst welcoming the opportunity to reduce security activity Mayhew also made it clear that the British government expected some moves towards IRA decommissioning before it would engage with republicans in any meaningful discussions. In turn this demand was rejected and he was therefore involved in efforts along with the Irish authorities to try to find an answer to this problem.

In October 1995 it was agreed to try to adopt a 'twin-track' approach whereby political negotiations would commence whilst an international body would oversee the decommissioning process. But this failed to produce a breakthrough and with relations between the republican movement and the two governments continuing to deteriorate the resultant stalemate only ending with the breakdown of the IRA ceasefire in February 1996. In spite of this setback Mayhew was involved with the efforts of the British and Irish governments to find a solution to the problem. Thus all-party talks without representatives of SF were eventually scheduled to begin in June 1996. Prior to the 1997 general election he made it announced he would not be standing again as an MP and in July 1997 was made a life peer. Later in the year he took his seat in the House of Lords as Lord Mayhew of Twysden.

Book References:
De Breadun, Deaglan. (2001), The Far Side of Revenge. Dublin: The Collins Press.
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Hennessey, Thomas. (2000), The Northern Ireland Peace Process: Ending the Troubles. London: Gill & Macmillan.
[Entry written by B.Lynn 5 December 2002]


Mitchell, George John (b. 20 August 1933)
Politician; United States Senator 1980-95; Chairman of Northern Ireland Peace Talks 1996-98

A lawyer by profession George Mitchell became the US Attorney for Maine (1977-79) and later served as a US District Judge for North Maine (1979-80). In 1980 Mitchell was elected as a Democratic Senator for the state of Maine (1980-95) and from 1988-95 was Senate majority leader. With the involvement of Bill Clinton, then President of the United States, in the emerging peace process in Northern Ireland in the early 1990s, Mitchell was invited by Clinton to act as his economic envoy to Ireland (1994-95). By way of this role he came to the attention of the British and Irish governments who asked him to head the proposed international body which was to be established to deal with the issue of arms decommissioning. Appointed as its chairman in November 1995 this committee quickly got down to work and in January 1996 published a report recommending a number of proposals aimed at allowing all-party negotiations to begin. When these finally began in June 1996 he overcame the objections of some unionists to take on the responsibility of chairing these talks. Initially however little progress was made and it took a series of significant events in 1997 to change this.

The British general election of May 1997 saw the return of a Labour government which then set the talks process a deadline of a year to reach agreement. Then with the renewal of the IRA ceasefire in July 1997 this allowed for the entry of Sinn Féin (SF) into the negotiations in September 1997. Although this led to some of the unionist parties withdrawing from the talks, the presence of SF now gave the process a sense of inclusiveness that had previously lacking. But with no apparent sign of a breakthrough, Mitchell decided finally in March 1998 to set 9 April 1998 as the date when the discussion would end. This gave fresh impetus and after a frantic last round of negotiations the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) was signed on 10 April 1998. In December 1998 Mitchell was awarded with an honorary knighthood in recognition of his work in Northern Ireland but by September 1999 found himself returning to chair a review of the GFA. These efforts were to bring some success and led in November 1999 to the formation of the power-sharing Executive proposed under the GFA. As a result of his involvement in Northern Ireland he has subsequently been invited to participate in efforts to try to address conflicts in other parts of the world particularly in the Middle East.

Book References:
De Breadun, Deaglan. (2001), The Far Side of Revenge. Dublin: The Collins Press.
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Hennessey, Thomas. (2000), The Northern Ireland Peace Process: Ending the Troubles? London: Gill & Macmillan.
Mitchell, George. (1999), Making Peace. London: Heinemann.
Web Sources:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/northern_ireland/understanding/profiles/george_mitchell.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/1170144.stm
[Entry written by B.Lynn 5 December 2002]


Molyneaux, ('Jim') James (Life Peerage 1997) (b. 28 August 1920)
Politician; Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP; Leader of UUP 1979-95

After serving in the Second World War James Molyneaux returned home to County Antrim to manage the family farm. He also became involved in politics and at the 1970 Westminster general election was returned as the new Unionist MP for the constituency of South Antrim (1970-83). Opposed to the 1973 Sunningdale Agreement and to the establishment of the power-sharing Executive in early 1974, he stood for the leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in January 1974 but was defeated by Harry West. His growing influence within the party however became evident after October 1974 when he becameleader of the UUP Westminster parliamentary party (1974-79). During this period Molyneaux ensured that the UUP's role at Westminster underwent a marked change in approach as its close ties with the Conservative Party were loosened in favour of a more neutral stance towards a Labour administration.

In 1979 he succeeded West as party leader (1979-95) and attempted to revitalise the party in the face of the growing electoral threat from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Under his leadership however a number of difficult problems did occur. To begin with he faced the challenge of managing the main competing factions within the party. This debate centred on those who favoured greater integration for Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom and those who favoured a return of a significant degree of devolved power. At times his preference appeared to be for the option of integration and as a result this led to some criticism of him from within the ranks of the UUP. Although sceptical of the chances of success in 1982 for the plan proposed by James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, for 'rolling devolution' Molyneaux took his seat in the Northern Ireland Assembly (1982-86). When the scheme began to collapse Molyneaux warned the British government of unionist unease at its ongoing discussions with the authorities in Dublin.

Following the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) in November 1985 he actively campaigned with others in an attempt to unite all shades of unionism against the AIA. In the early 1990s he led the UUP delegation to the all-party talks involving the other main political parties in Northern Ireland, apart from Sinn Féin (SF), as well as the administrations in London and Dublin. When these ended without success Molyneaux continued to call for their resumption but this failed as developments elsewhere led to the British and Irish governments pursuing an alternative strategy. This was to culminate with the signing of the Downing Street Declaration (DSD) on 15 December 1993 and whilst he voiced some scepticism at its content, overall his response to the DSD was a guarded welcome.

A short time later however discontent within the UUP began to grow over the method and his style of leadership and this reached a peak after the publication of the Framework Document in February 1995. This prompted a challenge to him in March 1995 and although he easily overcame the threat, serious damage had been inflicted upon his leadership. As a result in August 1995 he resigned as leader and in October 1996 announced he would be standing down as MP for the constituency of Lagan Valley (1983-97). Awarded a life peerage in 1997 he took his seat in the House of Lords as Lord Molyneaux of Killead. He has remained active in political activity and in May 1998 campaigned for a 'No' vote in referendum campaign on the Good Friday Agreement (GFA). Since then Molyneaux has voiced his opposition to the decision by David Trimble, then leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), to participate in a power sharing Executive with Sinn Fein (SF) without complete decommissioning by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Book References:
Cochrane, Feargal. (2001), Unionist Politics and the Politics of Unionism since the Anglo-Irish Agreement. Cork: Cork University Press.
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.
McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Purdy, Ann. (1989), Molyneaux: The Long View. Antrim: Greystone.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 30 March 2003]


Morrell, Leslie James (b. 26 December 1931)
Politician; Unionist Party; Northern Ireland Executive Minister January-May 1974

A farmer from near Coleraine, County Derry, Leslie Morrell was a member of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and went onto serve on a number of local government bodies including Coleraine Rural District Council (1961-73), Londonderry County Council (1969-73), and Coleraine District Council (1973-77). Following his election to the Northern Ireland Assembly in June 1973 for the constituency of Londonderry he fully backed the decision of Brian Faulkner, then leader of the UUP, to enter into a power-sharing Executive and to back the 1973 Sunningdale Agreement. Morrell was then appointed as Head of the Department of Agriculture in the Executive (January-May 1974). Following the collapse of the Executive in May 1974 Faulkner later established the Unionist Party of Northern Ireland (UPNI) and Morrell again followed him, becoming deputy leader of the UPNI (1974-78). However, after the collapse in electoral support for the party Morrell severed his links with active politics in 1978 and returned to concentrate on his farming interests.

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


Morrice, Jane Elizabeth (b. 11 May 1954)
Politician; Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (NIWC) MLA 1998-2003; Deputy Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly 1998-2003

Jane Morrice was born in Belfast and educated at Ashleigh House School, Belfast, Methodist College, Belfast, and the University of Ulster from where she graduated in 1977. Morrice began work as a journalist (1980-92) before becoming head of the European Commission office in Northern Ireland (1992-97). Her interest in politics led her to being one of the founder members of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition (NIWC) in 1996 and she was a member of its team at the multi-party talks from 1996 to 1998. At the elections to the Northern Ireland Assembly in June 1998 she was returned as member for the constituency of North Down (1998-2003) and in 1998 was appointed one of the three deputy speakers of the Assembly. At the election to the Northern Ireland Assembly in Novemebr 2003 Morrice lost her seat.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Fearon, Kate. (1999), Women's Work: The Story of the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Web Sources:
http://www.niwc.org/reps.asp
http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/members/biogs/jmorrice.htm
http://www.stratagem-ni.org/
[Entry written by B.Lynn 5 December 2002; updated 10 June 2004]


Morrow, Maurice (b. 1948)
Politician; Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MLA; Executive Minister July 2000 - October 2001

A native of Ballygawley, County Tyrone Maurice Morrow was educated locally before pursuing a career as an estate agent and valuer. Morrow joined the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in the early 1970s and was first elected as a public representative in 1973 as a member of Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council (1973-present). In May 1996 he was returned as a member of the Northern Ireland Forum for the constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone (1996-98). In the election for the new Northern Ireland Assembly in June 1998 he was again elected for the same area (1998-present) and was appointed the DUP's Chief Whip in the Assembly. As part of the DUP's policy of rotating its appointments to the Northern Ireland Executive between various members of their Assembly party, Morrow served as Minister of Social Development between July 2000 - October 2001.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Web Sources:
http://www.dup.org.uk/
http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/members/biogs/mmorrow.htm
http://www.stratagem-ni.org/
[Entry written by B.Lynn 5 December 2002]


Mowlam, ('Mo') Marjorie (b. 18 September 1949)
Politician; Labour Party MP; Secretary of State for Northern Ireland May 1997 - October 1999

Mo Mowlam was educated at Coudon Court Comprehensive School, Coventry, and later the universities of Durham and Iowa, from where she was to graduate with a Ph.D. Before entering politics Mowlam lectured at the universities of Wisconsin and Florida in the United States of America before returning to Britain to teach at Newcastle University, and then became an administrator in adult education at the Northern College, Barnsley. For a time she was also to work as a political researcher. The 1987 general election saw her returned as the Labour MP for the constituency of Redcar (1987-2001) and over the next decade established herself within the party most notably as opposition spokesperson for Northern Ireland (1994-97).

Following Labour's election victory of May 1997, Mowlam was appointed as the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1997-99). Her arrival coincided with high expectations that the new administration would act swiftly to revitalise the stalled peace process. Her early months in office however were dominated by the controversy which surrounded her decision to allow an Orange Order march to proceed down the Garvaghy Road in Portadown in July 1997. This centred on allegations that she had given local nationalist residents an undertaking that she would inform them in advance whether the parade would be allowed to go ahead. In the end the march was allowed to take place but seemingly without any warning being given and for this apparent failure Mowlam was criticised for alleged duplicity.

In spite of this setback the announcement of a new Irish Republican Army (IRA) ceasefire later in July 1997 contributed to the ending of the political stalemate. This led to Mowlam being at the forefront of the efforts to prepare the ground for the entry of Sinn Féin (SF) into the multi-party talks. This was to see an agreement being reached with the Irish government in July 1999 concerning the creation of an international body in July 1999 to deal with the issue of paramilitary decommissioning. When SF finally entered the negotiations in September 1997 she appealed to those unionist parties who had walked out of the negotiations in protest to return but without any success. Her commitment to the talks was however highlighted in January 1998 when she visited loyalist and republican prisoners in the Maze Prison to urge them to maintain their support for the peace process in spite of an upsurge in terrorist activity.

When the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) was signed in April 1998 Mowlam was widely praised for her close involvement in bringing it about. This was perfectly illustrated at the Labour Party conference in October 1998 when Tony Blair, then British Prime Minister, mentioned her by name during his speech and she was given a standing ovation. But this apparent popularity was not shared by all Northern Ireland politicians. In particular elements of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), had long considered her to be too sympathetic to nationalist or republican opinion. Such views were only further strengthened as the process of implementing the GFA proceeded throughout the rest of 1998 and 1999. Eventually this reached the extent where relations between the UUP and Mowlam had virtually broken down with calls for her resignation.

In October 1999 much to her own displeasure, a cabinet reshuffle, saw Mowlam replaced as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Her new post as the Cabinet Office Minister (1999-2001), largely involved the task of co-ordinating and promoting government policy. This was widely seen as demotion and sparked rumours that her relationship with Tony Blair had become strained. These were only further strengthened when in the summer of 2000 she announced her intention to retire from active politics at the next general election, which she then did in June 2001.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Hennessey, Thomas. (2000), The Northern Ireland Peace Process: Ending the Troubles? London: Gill & Macmillan.
Langdon, Julia. (1999), Mo Mowlam. London: Little, Brown.
Mowlam, Mo. (2002), Momentum: The Struggle for Peace, Politics, and the People. London: Hodder and Stoughton.
Ramsden, John (ed.) (2002), The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century British Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Web Sources:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/1660562.stm
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/person/biography/0,9312,-3763,00.html
http://www.nio.gov.uk/issues/agreelinks/ptalks/mowlam.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/1170144.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/northern_ireland/understanding/profiles/mo_mowlam.stm
[Entry written by B.Lynn 5 December 2002]


Murphy, Paul (b. 25 November 1948)
Politician; Labour Party MP; Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 2002-present

Born in Gwent, Wales Paul Murphy was educated at St. Francis RC School, Abersychan, West Monmouth School at Pontypool, and Oriel College, Oxford. Before entering full-time politics Murphy was a lecturer in Government and History at Ebbw Vale College of Further Education. Having joined the Labour Party he went onto serve as a local councillor before in 1987 being elected as an MP for the constituency of Torfaen (1987-present). Having acted as a junior opposition spokesman (1988-97) on a number of issues, following Labour's return to power following the general election of May 1997 he was appointed Minister of State at the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) (1997-99). Amongst his responsibilities was that of political development and Murphy went onto play an important part in the negotiations that eventually led to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998. His work in this role was later recognised when in July 1999 he was promoted to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Wales (1999-2001). He held this post until October 2002 when he became the new Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. His immediate task was to take charge of the negotiations aimed at finding a resolution to the outstanding problems affecting the GFA.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Web Sources:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2175684.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2364585.stm
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/labour/story/0,9061,818292,00.html
http://www.epolitix.com/bos/epxnews/00000020AB79.htm
http://www.nio.gov.uk/issues/agreelinks/ptalks/murphy.htm
http://www.nio.gov.uk/
http://www.nio.gov.uk/press/pmurphysos.htm
http://www.politicallinks.co.uk/POLITICS2/BIOG/MP_BIOGS/bio.asp?id=583
[Entry written by B.Lynn 5 December 2002]


Murray, (Harry) Harold (b.1921)
Chairman of the Ulster Workers'Council (UWC) May 1974; Loyalist Activist
[Entry to be included at a later date]


Notes:
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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