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James Molyneaux, Baron Molyneaux of Killead facts for kids

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The Lord Molyneaux of Killead
The Lord Molyneaux of Killead KBE, PC.gif
Personal details
James Henry Molyneaux

(1920-08-27)27 August 1920
Killead, present day Northern Ireland
Died 9 March 2015(2015-03-09) (aged 94)
Antrim, Northern Ireland
Nationality Northern Irish
Political party Ulster Unionist Party
Residence(s) Killead, County Antrim
Military service
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Branch/service Royal Airforce Badge.png Royal Air Force
Years of service 1941–1946
Rank Flying Officer
Battles/wars World War Two

James Henry Molyneaux, Baron Molyneaux of Killead (27 August 1920 – 9 March 2015), often known as Jim Molyneaux, was a Northern Irish unionist politician, and leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from 1979 to 1995. He was a leading member and sometime Vice-President of the Conservative Monday Club. An Orangeman, he was also Sovereign Grand Master of the Royal Black Institution from 1971 to 1995.

Early life

Born in Killead, County Antrim, Molyneaux was educated at nearby Aldergrove School. Although he was raised an Anglican, as a child he briefly attended a local Catholic primary school. When a Catholic church near his home was burnt down by Ulster loyalist arsonists in the late 1990s, Molyneaux helped to raise funds for its rebuilding.

Military service

In World War II Molyneaux served in the Royal Air Force between 1941 and 1946. He participated in the liberation of the Belsen concentration camp, and occasionally gave interviews about what he saw there. On 1 April 1947, he was promoted to flying officer.

Political career

During the 1960s and 1970s, Molyneaux served on Antrim County Council, as well as a number of committees concerning local healthcare, and in 1970 was elected UUP Member of Parliament for South Antrim. In October 1974, Molyneaux became leader of the Ulster Unionists in the House of Commons. Between 1982 and 1986 he sat as a UUP member for South Antrim in the failed 1982 Northern Ireland Assembly.

Molyneaux was admitted to the Privy Council in 1982. In 1985, Molyneaux resigned his seat, along with his unionist colleagues in the House of Commons, in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement. He was re-elected in the subsequent by-election.


Molyneaux died at the age of 94 in Antrim, Northern Ireland on 9 March 2015, Commonwealth Day.

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