David Trimble

From Academic Kids

The Right Honourable David Trimble MLA (born October 15, 1944) is a Northern Ireland politician, former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), former First Minister of Northern Ireland, He shared the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize with John Hume of the Social Democratic and Labour Party.

Trimble was born in 1944. He was educated in Bangor and at Queen's University, Belfast. He qualified as a barrister and began to lecture in law in 1968. In 1974 he acted as legal adviser to the Ulster Workers' Council during the paramilitary-controlled Ulster Workers' Strike, during which unionist paramilitaries intimidated thousands of utility workers. He was elected to the Northern Ireland Convention in 1975 as a Vanguard Progressive Unionist Party member for South Belfast and for a time he served as the party's joint-deputy leader, along with the Ulster Defence Association's Glen Barr. The party had been established by William Craig to oppose sharing power with Catholics and prevent closer ties with the Republic of Ireland. He also contributed to the Ulster Volunteer Force magazine Combat at this time. When the Vanguard party collapsed he joined the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in 1978 and became party secretary. He was elected to Westminster in a by-election in Upper Bann in 1990. In 1995 Trimble was unexpectedly elected leader of the UUP, defeating the front-runner John Taylor. His election as party leader came in the aftermath of his leading role in the forcing of a highly controversial Orange Order (of which Trimble is a member) march, amidst widespread violence, through a Catholic enclave in Portadown, County Armagh, in the heart of Trimble's Upper Bann constituency. Trimble and Ian Paisley danced down the road in triumph after the protesting local residents had been beaten off the road by the RUC.

He opposed the role of the United States senator Senator George Mitchell as chairman of the multi-party talks which resulted in the Belfast Agreement of 1998. Trimble was seen as instrumental in getting his party to accept the accord. Later in 1998 Trimble and John Hume were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland. Trimble was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly and subsequently became First Minister of Northern Ireland. However arguments over the extent of Provisional IRA decommissioning meant that Trimble's tenure as First Minister was repeatedly interrupted. In particular:

  • The office of First Minister was suspended from the 11 February - 30 May 2000.
  • Trimble resigned as First Minister on 1 July 2001 but was re-elected on 5 November of the same year.
  • The office of First Minister has been suspended since 14 October 2002.

Template:Wikinews At the general elections of 2005, David Trimble failed in his bid for re-election to Parliament in Westminster when he was defeated by the Democratic Unionist Party's David Simpson. The Ulster Unionist Party retained only one seat in Parliament after the 2005 General Election, and David Trimble resigned as leader of the party on May 7, 2005.

External links

Preceded by:
James Molyneaux
Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party
Succeeded by:
To be elected
Preceded by:
Newly Created Office
First Minister of Northern Ireland
Succeeded by:
Reg Empey
Preceded by:
Reg Empey
First Minister of Northern Ireland
Succeeded by:
Office Suspended

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