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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

| Taylor | Thatcher | Thompson | Trimble | Trousdell | Tuzo | Tyrie |

Taylor, John (Life Peerage 2001) (b. 24 December 1937)
Politician; Unionist MP (Stormont); Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MEP 1979-89; UUP MP 1983-2001; Deputy Leader of the UUP 1995-2001

John Taylor was educated at the Royal School, Armagh, and Queen's University Belfast from where he was to later graduate with a BSc degree. Whilst a student at Queen's, Taylor became involved in politics, serving as Chairman of Queen’s University Conservative and Unionist Association (1959-60) and as Chairman of the Ulster Young Unionist Council (1961-62). His first electoral contest came in 1965 when he was returned as the new Unionist Party (UP) MP for the constituency of South Tyrone (1965-72) in the Stormont parliament. Within the Unionist parliamentary party Taylor soon established himself as one of those highly sceptical of the approach being taken to the emerging civil rights movement and other issues by Captain Terence O'Neill, then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. In February 1969 this led to him signing a statement along with a number of his backbench colleagues calling for a change of leadership. This was based on a belief that O'Neill had now lost the confidence of the UUP to deal with the growing political crisis in the region.

As the civil unrest intensified Taylor increasingly found himself at the centre of efforts by the authorities at Stormont to deal with the situation. In May 1969 he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs (May 1969 - August 1970) and then in August 1970 he became a member of the Northern Ireland Cabinet as Minister of State at the Ministry of Home Affairs (August 1970 - March 1972). These two roles meant that amongst his responsibilities was the task of dealing with growing security crisis. Whilst Taylor's preference, along with many of his colleagues, was for a tough response, this had to be balanced alongside changing circumstances. In particular with the British government playing an increasing role in the affairs of Northern Ireland there were to be frequent clashes between Belfast and London over important matters such as the issue of law and order, in which Taylor was frequently involved.

On 25 February 1972 the Official Irish Republican Army (OIRA) tried to kill Taylor in an ambush in Armagh. He was shot and his jawbone was broken and he required plastic surgery. (The OIRA had considered him one of the main advocates of internment.) When Stormont was prorogued in March 1972 he was highly critical of the move and joined in the widespread Unionist campaign against the decision. Taylor was then elected as an Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) member to the Northern Ireland Assembly in June 1973 for the constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone (1973-74). With the emergence of the Sunningdale Agreement in late 1973 he was to become one of its leading opponents and joined the campaign which sought to prevent its full implementation.

With the demise of the Assembly and the power-sharing Executive established under Sunningdale in 1974, Taylor remained active in politics. In May 1975 he was returned to the Constitutional Convention (1975-76) representing the UUP for the constituency of North Down. Then after the Convention was itself abolished in March 1976 his prominent position within the UUP ensured that in 1979 he was of the party's two candidates for the first direct elections to the European Parliament in June 1979. He was subsequently elected (1979-89) and went onto hold his seat until deciding, prior to the 1989 poll, not to stand again. In addition in October 1982 he had become a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (1982-86) for North Down and supported the efforts of his party to secure greater devolved powers for this new body. With the redrawing of the Westminster parliamentary seats in the North of Ireland in the early 1980s, at the 1983 general election Taylor went onto win the new constituency of Strangford (1983-2001). In a bid to strengthen his electoral base in the area, in 1989 he contested and won a seat on Castlereagh Borough Council (1989-97).

As the 'Peace Process' began to develop in the early 1990s he pursued at times an independent line. Whilst he was prepared to welcome the 1993 Downing Street Declaration along with the paramilitary cease-fires of 1994, Taylor also warned of the dangers of imposing any kind of a political settlement which in any way resembled that of Sunningdale. It was to be on this basis that in 1995 he sought the leadership of the UUP but was to finish as runner-up to David Trimble. Some consolation came when he was then appointed as Deputy Leader (1995-present). Having been elected to the Northern Ireland Forum in May 1996 for Strangford (1996-98) he emerged as an important ally of Trimble in the negotiations that were to produce the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998. Whereas some within the party campaigned for a 'No' vote in the referendum campaign of May 1998, he gave his full support to secure a 'Yes' vote. In June 1998 he was again returned for Strangford in the Northern Ireland Assembly (1998-present) and since then Taylor has continued to be a key supporter of Trimble in the party leader's attempt to ensure that the UUP continued to support his line on the GFA. Early in 2001 Taylor announced his intention not to stand at the next Westminster general election and later in 2001 he was given a life peerage taking his seat in the House of Lords as Lord Kilclooney of Armagh. In October 2001 Taylor was one of the three UUP representatives appointed to the newly established Northern Ireland Policing Board (2001-present).

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.
Mulholland, Marc (1971), Northern Ireland at the Crossroads: Ulster Unionism in the O'Neill Years 1960-9. Basingstoke: Macmillan.
Web Sources:
http://www.election.demon.co.uk/stormont/biographies.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/1144830.stm
http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/members/biogs/jtaylor.htm
http://www.nipolicingboard.org.uk/our%20people/kilclooney.htm
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 19 January 2003]


Thatcher, Margaret Hilda (Life Peerage 1992) (b. 13 October 1925)
Politician; Conservative Party MP; British Prime Minister 1979-90

Margaret Thatcher was born in the small English town of Grantham and educated locally at Kesteven and Grantham Girls' High School before going onto win a scholarship to Somerville College, Oxford. After graduating with a BSc in Natural Science, Thatcher began work as an industrial research chemist, but also began to study for the Bar and 1954 she started to practice as a barrister. Her first involvement in politics came whilst a student at Oxford when she had served as President of the Oxford University Conservative Association. After a number of failed attempts, in 1959 she finally entered the House of Commons as the Conservative MP for the constituency of Finchley (1959-92). Her first ministerial experience came as a junior minister from 1961-64 and when the Conservative Party returned to government after the 1970 general election, Thatcher became a member of the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Education and Science (1970-74). In 1975 she decided to enter the contest for the leadership of her party and in a result which surprised many emerged to become Conservative leader (1975-90) as well as Leader of the Opposition (1975-79). Then after a well fought election campaign in 1979, Thatcher led the party back into power and in doing so became the first female Prime Minister in British history (1979-90).

With regard to her political attitude towards Northern Ireland, Thatcher had always maintained that she was committed to upholding its constitutional position within the United Kingdom. Though whilst in opposition proposals had been outlined by the Conservative Party to return some limited form of devolved power back to local politicians once in government her administration soon made clear that its priority with regards to the region lay elsewhere. For instance in 1982 when James Prior, then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, came up with proposals to achieve such an objective it was common knowledge that the Prime Minister herself was far from convinced with his plan. Instead Thatcher believed that resources should be concentrated instead on taking a much stronger stance on security policy in order to tackle paramilitary groups. A prime example of this came with Thatcher's uncompromising attitude to the Republican hunger strikes of 1980 and 1981.

In time however growing frustration at the lack of progress in tackling paramilitary activity led to her deciding to revive attempts to improve relations with the Irish government. These had begun in 1979 and continued into 1980, with her seeking to build on efforts to improve cross-border security co-operation. In pursuing this objective Thatcher agreed somewhat reluctantly to broaden the agenda to include political matters by agreeing to examine the "totality of relations between the two countries". By 1981 the authorities in Dublin and London had agreed to formalise these discussions with the establishment of the Anglo-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (AIIC). In the short-term however little progress was made as relations deteriorated over issues such as Thatcher's line during the 1981 hunger strike and the Irish response to the Falkland crisis of 1982. But gradually these differences were overcome and after careful diplomacy on both sides Thatcher began to develop a working relationship with Garret Fitzgerald, then Irish Prime Minister. The attack by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) on the Conservative Party conference in October 1984 prompted a renewed interest in Northern Ireland affairs particularly with a view to initiating a fresh security initiative. With a belief this could only be successful with the full co-operation of the Dublin government, she agreed to engage in a fresh round of negotiations with Fitzgerald. At one point this even included her considering proposals to redraw the border but in the end nothing came of this.

Eventually the talks led in November 1985 to the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) which to the dismay of Unionist opinion gave the Irish authorities a consultative role in Northern Ireland affairs. This concession had gone against Thatcher's instinctive support for the Union and it soon became clear that she had only reluctantly agreed to the AIA. In particular she had set out to try to ensure that Dublin would act more diligently with regards to cross-border security matters. Although disappointed by the depth of the opposition from unionism with the AIA, true to her political style, she refused to offer immediate concessions and appeared determined to work the AIA in the hope that it would achieve the objective she had set out for it. Thus when Thatcher began to believe that the Irish had failed to live up to her expectations to take a tougher security response relations between the two governments again became strained. After her resignation as Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister in November 1990, on occasions she has continued on occasions to speak on matters relating to Northern Ireland and repeated her personal commitment to the Union. As such she voiced some scepticism in the 'Peace Process' of the mid to late 1990s and was critical of those aspects of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) of April 1998 which allowed for the early release of those convicted of paramilitary offences.

Book References:
Arthur, Paul. (2000), Special Relationships: Britain, Ireland and the Northern Ireland Problem. Belfast: Blackstaff.
Blake, Robert. (1985), The Conservative Party from Peel to Thatcher. London: Fontana.
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
Gaffikin, Frank and Mike Morrissey. (1990), Northern Ireland: The Thatcher Years. London: Zed.
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.
Thatcher, Margaret. (1995), The Downing Street Years. London: HarperCollins.
Young, Hugo. (2001), One of Us: A Biography of Margaret Thatcher. London: Macmillan, 1991.
Web Sources:
http://www.number10.gov.uk/output/page126.asp
http://www.margaretthatcher.net/
http://www.britannia.com/gov/primes/prime56.html
http://www.hewett.norfolk.sch.uk/curric/POLIT/brit/thatcher.htm
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 19 January 2003]


Thompson, ('Willie') William John (b. 26 October 1939)
Politician; Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP 1997-2001;

William Thompson first became in politics in the 1960s and in 1973 was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly as an Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) member for the constituency of Mid Ulster (1973-74). During this period Thompson sided with those elements in the UUP opposed both to the power-sharing Executive and the 1973 Sunningdale Agreement. In later years he also represented Mid Ulster in the Constitutional Convention (1975-76) and the Northern Ireland Assembly (1982-86) as well as serving as an UUP councillor on Omagh District Council (1981-93). At the 1997 Westminster general election Thompson became the first MP for the new Northern Ireland constituency of West Tyrone (1997-2001). Almost immediately he made clear his opposition, because of the presence of Sinn Féin (SF), to the decision taken by David Trimble, then leader of the UUP, to participate in the multi-party talks that were to commence in September 1997.

With the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) in April 1998 Thompson was one of the high profile members of the UUP to publicly oppose it and therefore campaigned in the subsequent referendum on the GFA for a 'No' vote. Over the next few years he maintained his opposition to the GFA and became a bitter critic of the policy followed by his party leader towards the full implementation of the GFA. Having won the West Tyrone seat in 1997, due to a split in the nationalist vote, Thompson faced a difficult task in trying to regain the seat at the 2001 general election. In the end the challenge was to prove too great and the SF candidate, Pat Doherty, was to push him into second place.

Book References:
Elliott, Sydney. and Flackes, W.D. (1999), Northern Ireland: A Political Directory 1968-1999. Belfast: Blackstaff Press.
McDonald, Henry. (2000), Trimble. London: Bloomsbury.
Web Sources:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/vote2001/candidates/candidates/5/59306.stm
http://www.rte.ie/news/features/westminster_election/constituencies/wst_tyrone.html
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 26 March 2003]


Trimble, David William (Nobel Laureate) (b. 15 October 1944)
Politician; Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP 1990-present; Leader of the UUP 1995-present; First Minister 1999-2001 and 2001-2002

David Trimble was born in Bangor, County Down, and educated locally winning a scholarship to Bangor Grammar School. He then went onto attend Queen's University Belfast from where he was to graduate with a first class honours degree in Law and in 1969 qualified as a barrister. By this stage Trimble had already taken up a post as a Lecturer in Law at Queen's (1968-77) and later served as a Senior Lecturer (1977-81) and as Head of Department, Commercial and Property Law (1981-89). His interest in politics developed in the early 1970s when along with many others he became increasingly disillusioned with the existing unionist leadership in Northern Ireland. This reached its peak after March 1972 with the suspension of the Stormont Parliament and the introduction of direct rule from Westminster. As a result Trimble was to associate himself with the Ulster Vanguard movement, which along with others, attempted to organise unionist opinion to oppose such developments. In 1973 when this group evolved into the Vanguard Unionist Progressive Party (VUPP) he became a member and unsuccessfully stood for election at the Assembly elections in June 1973.

During the loyalist workers' strike of May 1974, aimed at bringing down the Sunningdale Agreement (1973), Trimble was to play an important role behind the scenes in ensuring that it was ultimately successful. After these events had helped to end the immediate prospects of political stability the British government was left with little option but to try a fresh approach. This involved elections to a Constitutional Convention in May 1975 which was then to be given the task of drafting proposals for the governance of Northern Ireland which could secure cross-community support. Trimble was elected for the constituency of Belfast South (1975-76) as a representative of the VUUP to the Convention. Along with his party colleagues they reached an agreement to work with other unionist groupings who had opposed Sunningdale under the title of the United Ulster Unionist Council (UUUC). Within the UUUC he was then to be closely involved in the proposals it put forward to break the political stalemate in Northern Ireland. Not surprisingly this plan failed to reach the standard set by the authorities at Westminster. In an effort to find a compromise, Trimble supported the suggestion by William Craig, then leader of the VUUP, for plans to form a voluntary coalition with the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). Such an idea met with little support within the VUUP and led to a serious split in the party but he remained loyal to Craig, later emerging as its new Deputy Leader (1975-78).

But the VUUP had suffered a fatal blow from this internal crisis and in 1978 it ceased to operate as a political party and so with some of his former colleagues, he joined the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). Gradually Trimble began to establish himself within the UUP and associated himself with those in the party that sought to have devolved power restored to Northern Ireland. In 1990 he then found himself becoming the UUP's candidate at the Westminster by-election for the constituency of Upper Bann. As a safe unionist seat it came as no great surprise when Trimble went onto become the new MP (1990-present). In this new role he soon gained greater prominence and went onto become a member of the UUP's delegation at the all-party talks during 1991-92. Due to his uncompromising views on Northern Ireland's constitutional position he won few admirers from nationalist and republican opinion and if anything this view was strengthened as he reacted with a great deal of scepticism to developments in the 'Peace Process' in the early to mid 1990s.

In 1995 Trimble's role in the controversy surrounding the stand-off at Drumcree near Portdadown, over a disputed parade by local members of the Orange Order, did little to correct this perception of him as a hard-liner within the UUP. Within the UUP this controversy appeared to do him no harm and was widely seen as a contributory factor when he won the leadership of the party in September 1995. Initially his success on becoming leader of the UUP (1995-present) appeared to rule out the chances of an immediate political breakthrough. In particular it seemed to rule out the possibility of the efforts by the British and Irish governments to find a formula that would allow the republican movement to participate in a new round of political negotiations with the other main parties in Northern Ireland. Thus in the apparent absence of any moves by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to meet his demands for the decommissioning of their weaponry, Trimble refused to agree to enter any talks process with their representatives.

In May 1996 he was returned to the Northern Ireland Forum for the constituency of Upper Bann (1996-98) and led his party into the multi-party negotiations which commenced in June 1996. Following the entry of Sinn Féin (SF) into the talks process in September 1997, Trimble overcame internal UUP opposition to remain involved in these. By April 1998 he again defied criticism from his own party to sign up to the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) and went onto campaign for a 'Yes' vote in the subsequent referendum campaign in May 1998. His efforts during this time were to be recognised when later in 1998 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with John Hume, then leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). Following the elections to the new Northern Ireland Assembly in June 1998 Trimble was elected to this body for Upper Bann. He then went onto play an important part in the discussions that were to follow which set out to ensure that the administrative structures envisaged under the GFA would be created. Finally in November 1999 with the establishment of the Northern Ireland Executive, he took up the position of First Minister (1999-2001 and 2001-02). Since then however Trimble has resigned twice from this post in July 2001 and October 2002 in an effort to force the pace on the issue of paramilitary decommissioning. At the same time he has also faced challenges from within the UUP itself over his handling of the implementation of the GFA. His authority was further damaged by the UUP's performance at the election to the Northern Ireland Assembly in November 2003. Although the party's share of the first preference rose slightly to 22.7% it lost one seat and was overtaken as the largest unionist grouping in the Assembly by the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Further problems developed when a number of UUP members, including one of its Westminster MPs and three of its Assembly members, resigned in January 2004 to join the DUP. As a consequence of these difficulties Trimble was forced to defend his leadership against two challengers at the UUP's annual conference in March 2004.

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.
McDonald, Henry. (2001), Trimble. London: Bloomsbury.
McRedmond, Louis. (ed.) (1998), Modern Irish Lives: Dictionary of 20th-century Biography. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Web Sources:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/765174.stm
http://www.uup.org/
http://www.ofmdfmni.gov.uk/
http://www.stratagem-ni.org/
http://www.ni-assembly.gov.uk/members/biogs/dtrimble.htm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/vote2001/candidates/candidates/5/59608.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/northern_ireland/understanding/profiles/david_trimble.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/1170144.stm
http://www.politicallinks.co.uk/POLITICS2/BIOG/MP_BIOGS/bio.asp?id=596
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 19 January 2003; updated 10 June 2004]


Trousdell, Phillip (Major General) (b.13 August 1948)
British Army Soldier; General Officer Commanding (GOC) Northern Ireland 2003-present
[Entry to be included at a later date]


Tuzo, Harry Craufield (General) (b. 26 August 1917)
British Army Soldier; General Officer Commanding (GOC) Northern Ireland 1971-73

After a long military career in 1971 Harry Truzo was appointed General Officer Commanding (GOC) Northern Ireland (1971-73). On taking up his post Tuzo found himself having to deal not only with increasing levels of violence but bitter arguments between the authorities in London and Belfast over the control of security matters. Whist as GOC he had to face the military and political implications of events such as the introduction of internment in August 1971, Bloody Sunday in January 1972, and the seizure of the 'no-go areas' in Operation Motorman on 31 July 1972.

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.
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 30 March 2003]


Tyrie, ('Andy') Andrew (b. 1940)
Loyalist Activist; Commander of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) 1973-88

Andy Tyrie was orn in Belfast and his first involvement in loyalist paramilitary activity came with the Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) in the late 1960s. With the formation of the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) in 1971 he transferred his allegiance to this new loyalist paramilitary organisation. Within a short period of time Tyrie had become a UDA officer in the Shankill Road area of Belfast and then in 1973 was appointed as leader of the organisation (1973-88). During the 1974 Loyalist Workers' Council (LWC) strike against the Sunningdale Agreement he played an important part in the dispute. He was also associated with a similar but this time unsuccessful stoppage in 1977. As a result of the lessons learned in 1977 Tyrie was reluctant to participate with the same sort of tactic in order to highlight loyalist and unionist anger at the signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (AIA) in November 1985.

Although he was never convicted of any paramilitary activity, under his leadership the UDA was widely involved in violent activity within Northern Ireland. At the same time however he encouraged the organisation to embrace politics through the establishment of the New Ulster Political Research Group (NUPRG). In 1979 this body published proposals to break the political stalemate by outlining plans for a process of negotiations leading to the creation of an independent Northern Ireland and Tyrie publicly backed the idea. For much of his tenure as leader of the UDA he did manage to hold together the different factions within the organisation but by the end of the 1980s this was proving increasingly difficult. As a result in March 1988, shortly after he had survived an assassination attempt, allegedly planned by his internal opponents, Tyrie was ousted from his position as leader of the UDA. Within a short period of time he was also to completely sever all links with the organisation itself.

Book References:
Bruce, Steve. (1992), The Red Hand: Protestant Paramilitaries in Northern Ireland. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bruce, Steve. (1994), The Edge of the Union: The Ulster Loyalist Political Vision. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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.
Web Sources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/troubles/factfiles/uda.shtml
[Entry written by B.Lynn - 19 January 2003]


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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