Basil McIvor

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

William Basil McIvor OBE PC (NI) (17 June 1928 – 5 November 2004) was an Ulster Unionist politician, barrister and pioneer of integrated education.

Early life and education[edit]

The son of Rev. Frederick McIvor, a Methodist clergyman, McIvor was born in the Tullyhommon, County Fermanagh part of the village of Pettigo, which straddles the Northern Ireland border.[1][2] McIvor attended the Methodist College, Belfast and the Queen's University of Belfast and was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1950.[1][2] In his career at the Bar, Basil McIvor became Junior Crown Counsel and a Resident Magistrate in the 1970s.[1][2]

Political career[edit]

He was elected to the Northern Ireland Parliament as Ulster Unionist Party MP for Larkfield[3] in the 1969 election.[1] He was one of a group of MPs who supported the beleaguered Prime Minister, Terence O'Neill. Viewed as a liberal he was given the job of Minister of Community Relations by Brian Faulkner in 1971 and resigned from the Orange Order.

McIvor was a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, 1973, topping the poll in Belfast South,[4] and a member of the Ulster Unionist contingent who negotiated the Sunningdale Agreement in 1973. When the powersharing Executive was set up in the aftermath of Sunningdale McIvor headed the Education Department.[2] McIvor left politics after the fall of the Executive in 1974 and sat as a resident magistrate.

In 1987 he was subject of a motion tabled in the United Kingdom House of Commons by four UUP MPs who accued him of showing bias against unionists and members of the Orange Order in a county Antrim case and so demanded McIvor's removal from the bench.[5]


McIvor presided over the initial investigation into UVF supergrass William 'Budgie' Allen and that of several people accused of killing two corporals in Belfast.[2]


He was involved in campaigning for shared schools for Protestant and Catholic pupils in Northern Ireland.[1] In 1981 he became the first chairman of Lagan College, Northern Ireland's first integrated school.[2] When Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness became education minister he invited him to visit the college.[6] He was also a governor of Campbell College, Belfast from 1975 until his death.

Basil McIvor died on the 5 November 2004 aged 76 while playing golf at Royal County Down.[2]


His son Jonathan McIvor was a senior Police Officer in both the Metropolitan Police Service and the Police Service of Northern Ireland as well as providing law enforcement advice to the European Union Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories [7]

As a Chief Inspector in the Metropolitan Police Service he was criticised by the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry for his failure to manage the initial investigation of the scene of the murder of Stephen Lawrence.[8]

He was appointed an MBE in the Queens Birthday Honours in June 2015 for "Services to stability in the Middle East".


  1. ^ a b c d e Basil McIvor, obituary, The Independent, 16 November 2004
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Basil McIvor, obituary, The Daily Telegraph, 26 November 2004, retrieved 3 June 2010
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Obituary
  6. ^ Former power-sharing minister in NI dies,, 5 November 2004, retrieved 3 June 2010
  7. ^
  8. ^


  • Basil McIvor, Hope Deferred: Experiences of an Irish Unionist, Blackstaff Press, Belfast, 1998. (autobiography)
Parliament of Northern Ireland
Preceded by
New position
Member of Parliament for Larkfield
Succeeded by
Position prorogued 1972
Parliament abolished 1973
Political offices
Preceded by
David Bleakley
Minister for Community Relations
Succeeded by
Post abolished