Eddie McGrady

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Eddie McGrady
Eddie McGrady.jpg
In office
12 June 1987 – 12 April 2010
Preceded by Enoch Powell
Succeeded by Margaret Ritchie
Constituency South Down
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for South Down
In office
25 June 1998 – 26 November 2003
Preceded by New Creation
Succeeded by Margaret Ritchie
Personal details
Born (1935-06-03)3 June 1935
Downpatrick, Northern Ireland
Died 11 November 2013(2013-11-11) (aged 78)
Downpatrick, Northern Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party SDLP
Spouse(s) Patricia McGrady
Children Paula
Alma mater Belfast Technical College
Profession Accountant

Edward Kevin McGrady (3 June 1935 – 11 November 2013) was an Irish nationalist politician from Northern Ireland and a member of the United Kingdom Parliament for South Down.[1]

Early life[edit]

Born in Downpatrick, County Down, Northern Ireland, one of eleven children, McGrady was educated at St Patrick's Grammar School, Downpatrick and at Belfast Technical College, where he trained as a chartered accountant, subsequently entering his family's accountancy firm.

Political career[edit]

McGrady entered politics in 1961[2] as an independent nationalist councillor on Downpatrick Urban Council, serving as chairman from 1964 until the council was replaced by Down District Council in 1973.

In the late 1960s he joined the National Democrats and stood for the party in the 1969 election to the Parliament of Northern Ireland in East Down, losing to the sitting MP and future Prime Minister of Northern Ireland Brian Faulkner.[3]

In 1970, he became a founder member of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) later serving as its first chairman (from 1971-1973.) He sat on Down district council from 1973 to 1989, serving as chairman from 1974–1975 and was also elected to all three regional assemblies in 1973, 1975 and 1982 representing South Down. In the 1973 power sharing executive he was appointed as Head of the Department of Executive Planning and Co-ordination serving from January to May 1974.

In Westminster elections he contested South Down unsuccessfully in 1979, 1983 and at the by-election of January 1986, losing on each occasion to Enoch Powell, the sitting MP. He succeeded at the fourth attempt in the general election of 1987 and held the seat until retiring in 2010. His tenure was briefly threatened in the mid 1990s when the Boundary Commission suggested merging much of his constituency with the neighbouring Newry and Armagh constituency to form a new 'Newry and Mourne' constituency. This was overturned during a local review which preserved his seat and actually removed more Unionist sections such as Dromore. McGrady's support held solid over the years despite talk of a slippage and this was reinforced in the 2005 Westminster election with his re-election to the House of Commons.[citation needed]

McGrady formerly sat on the Northern Ireland Policing Board and was a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly between 1998 and 2003.

On 25 February 2010, McGrady announced that he would stand down at the 2010 General Election.[4]

McGrady continued to be chairperson of the Lecale Branch of the SDLP.[5]


External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
New position
Chairperson of the Social Democratic and Labour Party
Succeeded by
Denis Haughey
Preceded by
Patricia Lewsley
Chairperson of the Social Democratic and Labour Party
Succeeded by
Joe Byrne
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Enoch Powell
Member of Parliament for South Down
Succeeded by
Margaret Ritchie
Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
New creation
MLA for Down South
1998 - 2003
Succeeded by
Margaret Ritchie