Alan McFarland


Alan McFarland

Infobox Politician | name=Alan McFarland, MLA


width=
term_start=1998
term_end=
predecessor=
successor=
birth_date=birth date and age|1949|8|9|df=y
birth_place=Plumbridge, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland
constituency=North Down
party=Ulster Unionist Party
office=MLA
spouse=
website= [http://www.nduup.org.uk/alanmcfarland.htm]

Major Robert Alan McFarland, MLA (born 9 August 1949 in Plumbridge, County Tyrone [ [http://www.theyworkforyou.com/ni/?id=2007-09-10.4.1&s=speaker%3A13826#g4.12 Economic Development Task Force: 10 Sep 2007: Northern Ireland Assembly debates (TheyWorkForYou.com) ] ] ) is an Ulster Unionist Party politician and MLA for North Down in Northern Ireland.

He attended Rockport School near Holywood and Campbell College in East Belfast. After a short career in banking he was admitted to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment in 1974. He is also a member of Mensa. [ [http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/members/biogs_07/mcfarland_a.htm NI Assembly] ]

He retired from the British Army in 1992 with the rank of Major and became a Parliamentary Assistant to James Molyneaux, MP, and the Rev. Martin Smyth, MP. In 1995 he was selected by the Ulster Unionists to contest the North Down by-election over the favourite for the nomination, Reg Empey, but was beaten in the election by Robert McCartney. He was again beaten by McCartney in the 1997 general election by a narrower margin.

In 1996 he was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum for Political Dialogue for North Down and was involved in the talks process that resulted in the Belfast Agreement of 1998. He was one of three UUP members returned to the Assembly for North Down in the first elections to the body in 1998 and he retained his seat in the November 2003 elections and March 2007 elections.

He was until reconstitution in 2006 one of the UUP representatives on the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

Following the resignation of David Trimble as UUP leader in 2005 he stood as a candidate in the contest to succeed him and was narrowly beaten by Sir Reg Empey. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4085738.stm BBC] ] Sir Reg appointed McFarland the party's Chief Negotiator following the election, in which role McFarland served through the period before restoration of devolution in Northern Ireland.

In 2007, following the restoration of devolution the details of a row between McFarland and Empey were leaked to the press. It is believed that McFarland turned down the nomination to be Minister for Health when he discovered that Empey planned to take the UUP's other ministerial portfolio himself, insisting that the Party Leader should concentrate on rebuilding the party from outside the Northern Ireland Executive. Empey did not back down from his stance and appointed Michael McGimpsey to the Department of Health instead. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/6573289.stm BBC report] ]

References

External links

* [http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/members/biogs_03/mcfarland_a.htm NI Assembly biography]


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