Desmond Boal

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Desmond Boal
Desmond Boal.jpg
Chairman of the Democratic Unionist Party
In office
Leader Ian Paisley
Preceded by Office Created
Succeeded by William Beattie
Member of Parliament for Belfast Shankill
In office
Preceded by Henry Holmes
Succeeded by Office abolished
Personal details
Born 1929
Derry, Northern Ireland
Died 22 April 2015 (aged 86)
Holywood, Northern Ireland
Nationality British
Political party Independent Unionist
Other political
Ulster Unionist Party
Spouse(s) Annette Boal
Children 3
Alma mater Trinity College, Dublin
Occupation Politician
Profession Barrister

Desmond Norman Orr Boal (1929 – 23 April 2015) was a unionist politician and barrister from Northern Ireland.[1]

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.[2]

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.


  1. ^ "New alliance starts in Ulster". Leader-Post. AP. 18 August 1971. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  2. ^ Northern Ireland - A Political Directory, 1968-1999, Sydney Elliott and W.D. Flackes (eds); Belfast: The Blackstaff Press; ISBN 0-85640-628-7
Parliament of Northern Ireland
Preceded by
Henry Holmes
Member of Parliament for Belfast Shankill
1960 - 1973
Succeeded by
Parliament abolished
Party political offices
Preceded by
New position
Chairman of the Democratic Unionist Party
Succeeded by
William Beattie