(b. 9 Apr. 1926, d. 26 Aug. 2005). Northern Irish politician Born in Belfast, he worked in a barber's shop, and then served in the British merchant navy (1941–53). He was elected as a Republican Labour MP for West Belfast in 1966, and brought the plight of Catholics in Northern Ireland to the notice of many in the British House of Commons. In 1970, he became the first leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP). He consistently opposed the IRA, and usually supported the Labour Party in the Commons. He resigned as SDLP leader in 1979, claiming that he was more of a socialist than a nationalist. He stood as an Independent Socialist in 1983, but lost his seat to Gerry Adams. He entered the House of Lords in the same year.
From A Dictionary of Contemporary World History in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).