Harold McCusker

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Harold McCusker

Harold McCusker.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Upper Bann
In office
9 June 1983 – 12 February 1990
Preceded bySeat created
Succeeded byDavid Trimble
Member of Parliament
for Armagh
In office
28 February 1974 – 9 June 1983
Preceded byJohn Maginnis
Succeeded bySeat abolished
Personal details
James Harold McCusker

(1940-02-07)7 February 1940
Lurgan, Northern Ireland
Died12 February 1990(1990-02-12) (aged 50)
Portadown, Northern Ireland
Political partyUlster Unionist
Spouse(s)Jennifer McCusker
Alma materStranmillis University College

James Harold McCusker (7 February 1940 — 12 February 1990) was a Northern Ireland Ulster Unionist Party politician who served as the Deputy Leader of the UUP Assembly Group from 1982–86.

Early life[edit]

The youngest son of Jim and Lily McCusker (he had one older brother), he was born and raised in the heart of Lurgan. Educated at Lurgan Model Primary School, Lurgan College and Stranmillis University College, before qualifying as a teacher. Before entering politics he worked in industry, latterly with Goodyear, in their Craigavon Plant.

Political career[edit]

He represented the Armagh constituency, and was first returned to the British House of Commons at the February 1974 general election. He was returned again in October 1974 and in the 1979 election. In 1982 he topped the poll in Armagh in the Assembly election.

At the 1983 general election, McCusker was returned for the new seat of Upper Bann. Alongside other Unionist MPs, he resigned his seat in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985, in order to contest his seat again at the ensuing by-election. He was returned again at the 1987 general election, which was to prove his last — he died of cancer in 1990, causing another by-election, which was won by future Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble.

Personal life[edit]

McCusker was an Orangeman and staunch Unionist. He was married, with 3 sons, Moore, James and Colin. His youngest son, Colin (who was 18 at the time of his father's death), ran for the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2011 polling 3,402 1st preference votes, but failed to get elected. He served on Craigavon Council from February 2012 – March 2015 (also Ulster Unionist) and was elected the last Mayor of Craigavon in June 2014. Colin was elected to the new Armagh City, Banbridge & Craogavon Borough Council under RPA in May 2014.

Prior to his death from cancer in 1990, five days after his 50th birthday, McCusker was expected to rise further in the Ulster Unionist Party and British political scenes, due to his ability and popularity among his peers and the wider public. He was a member of the Methodist Church of Ireland (Lurgan circuit).

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Maginnis
Member of Parliament for Armagh
Feb 19741983
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Upper Bann
Succeeded by
David Trimble
Northern Ireland Assembly (1982)
New assembly MPA for Armagh
Assembly abolished
Party political offices
Vacant Deputy Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party
Office abolished
Title next held by
John Taylor