Desmond Boal

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Desmond Boal

Desmond Boal.jpg
Chairman of the Democratic Unionist Party
In office
LeaderIan Paisley
Preceded byOffice Created
Succeeded byWilliam Beattie
Member of Parliament for Belfast Shankill
In office
Preceded byHenry Holmes
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Personal details
Born8 August 1928[1]
Derry, Northern Ireland
Died23 April 2015(2015-04-23) (aged 86)
Holywood, Northern Ireland
Political partyIndependent Unionist
Other political
Ulster Unionist Party
Spouse(s)Annette Boal
Alma materTrinity College, Dublin

Desmond Norman Orr Boal (8 August 1928 – 23 April 2015) was a unionist politician and barrister from Northern Ireland.[2]

Boal had a legal career before he entered politics in 1960. He was the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Member of the Parliament of Northern Ireland for the Shankill constituency between 1960 and 1972. He was very critical of the leadership under Captain Terence O'Neill, then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. Boal opposed the manner, if not the substance, of O'Neill's attempts at improving relations with both the Irish government and the Roman Catholic/Irish nationalist minority in Northern Ireland, along with many backbenchers.[3]

Discontented with James Chichester-Clark and Brian Faulkner who came to government after O'Neill's 1969 fall from power, Boal resigned from the UUP in 1971 and joined Ian Paisley in establishing the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in order to provide dissident unionist opinion with a viable political alternative. He worked as the first Chairman and one of the first public representatives of the DUP and continued to sit in Stormont during the years of 1971–1972. He later resumed his practice as a barrister.

Boal died in April 2015, aged 86.[4][5]


  1. ^ Mr Desmond Boal; Birth Date: 6 Aug 1928 Death Date: 23 Apr 2015. Scotland and Northern Ireland, Death Index, 1989-2015
  2. ^ "New alliance starts in Ulster". Leader-Post. AP. 18 August 1971. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  3. ^ Northern Ireland – A Political Directory, 1968–1999, Sydney Elliott and W.D. Flackes (eds); Belfast: The Blackstaff Press; ISBN 0-85640-628-7
  4. ^ "Desmond Boal, barrister - obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 13 May 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  5. ^ Ryder, Chris (7 May 2015). "Desmond Boal obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
Parliament of Northern Ireland
Preceded by
Henry Holmes
Member of Parliament for Belfast Shankill
Parliament abolished
Party political offices
New political party Chairman of the Democratic Unionist Party
Succeeded by
William Beattie