Clifford Forsythe

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Clifford Forsythe
Member of Parliament
for South Antrim
In office
9 June 1983 – 27 April 2000
Preceded by James Molyneaux
Succeeded by William McCrea
Personal details
Born (1929-08-25)25 August 1929
Died 27 April 2000(2000-04-27) (aged 70)
Nationality British
Political party Ulster Unionist Party

Clifford Forsythe (25 August 1929 – 27 April 2000) was a Northern Ireland Ulster Unionist Party politician. He served as Member of Parliament for South Antrim from 1983 to his death. He had previously been Mayor of Newtownabbey Borough Council, and was also a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly from 1982 to 1986. He also once served as the President of the Northern Ireland Institute of Plumbing.

In his paper Quangopus Government published by the Ulster Unionist Party in June 1992, Forsythe - as the then UUP Spokesman on Local Government - argued passionately for an end to quango-rule and for devolution of responsibility to locally-elected representatives.

Like his predecessor in the old South Antrim constituency (James Molyneaux), Forsythe opposed the Good Friday Agreement and supported proposals for a Northern Ireland-wide administrative assembly/regional council (with powers broadly analogous to the National Assembly for Wales) to administer legislation and public services currently administered by Northern Ireland Office Ministers, civil servants and quangos. On more than one occasion, Forsythe claimed that his experience - both in the 1982-86 Northern Ireland Assembly and as a Past Vice-Chairman of the Ulster Monday Club - led him to conclude that the unimplemented 1979 Conservative General Election Manifesto commitment to administrative devolution in Northern Ireland offered the way forward for Northern Ireland.

More recently, as a Member of the House of Commons' Social Security Select Committee (from 1991 to 1997) and the Commons' Environment, Transport and the Regions Select Committee (from 1997 until his death in 2000), Forsythe was an active Committee Member ensuring that Northern Ireland's interests were represented and needs were articulated. Shortly before his death Forsythe rounded on Government authorities for their failure to tackle social security fraud by paramilitary groups and reiterated Unionist calls for flights between Great Britain and Northern Ireland to be exempt from air passenger duty, arguing that the tax placed Northern Ireland at a big disadvantage compared with the rest of the United Kingdom given the limited alternative means of travelling between Belfast and London.

He was a former professional footballer with Derry City and Linfield Football Clubs.[1]


  1. ^ "Tributes paid to MP". BBC News. 29 April 2000. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
James Molyneaux
Member of Parliament for South Antrim
Succeeded by
William McCrea