John Taylor, Baron Kilclooney

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Kilclooney
Official portrait of Lord Kilclooney crop 2.jpg
Member of the Legislative Assembly
for Strangford
In office
25 June 1998 – 7 March 2007
Preceded by Constituency created
Succeeded by Michelle McIlveen
Member of Parliament
for Strangford
In office
9 June 1983 – 7 June 2001
Preceded by Constituency created
Succeeded by Iris Robinson
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
17 July 2001
Life Peerage
Member of the European Parliament
for Northern Ireland
In office
10 June 1979 – 15 June 1989
Preceded by Constituency created
Succeeded by Jim Nicholson
Member of the Northern Ireland Parliament
for South Tyrone
In office
25 November 1965 – 30 March 1972
Preceded by William Frederick McCoy
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Personal details
Born (1937-12-24) 24 December 1937 (age 80)
Armagh, Northern Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Crossbench
(formerly) Ulster Unionist Party
Spouse(s) Mary Todd
Children 6
Alma mater The Queen's University of Belfast

John David Taylor, Baron Kilclooney, PC (NI) (born 24 December 1937), is a former Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Northern Irish MP and a life peer. He was born in Armagh in Northern Ireland[1]. He was deputy leader of the UUP from 1995 to 2001, and a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Career and family[edit]

Taylor was educated at The Royal School, Armagh, and The Queen's University of Belfast (BSc). Lord Kilclooney owns Alpha Newspapers which operates local newspaper titles in Northern Ireland and the Republic. He is a member of the Farmers Club in London, and the County Club in Armagh City.

Lord Kilclooney's political career began as MP for South Tyrone in the Northern Irish House of Commons between 1970 and 1972, and he served in the Government of Northern Ireland as Minister of State at the Ministry of Home Affairs.[2]

In February 1972, he survived an assassination attempt in Armagh by the Official Irish Republican Army. Two men, including Joe McCann (who was himself shot dead some months afterwards whilst evading arrest), raked his car with bullets, hitting Taylor five times in the head. Taylor survived, but needed extensive reconstructive surgery on his jaw. Despite this, Taylor soon re-entered politics. He represented Fermanagh & South Tyrone in the short-lived Northern Ireland Assembly elected in 1973 and dissolved in 1974, following the collapse of the power-sharing Executive.[3]

He became a Member of the European Parliament for Northern Ireland in 1979, remaining an MEP until 1989. On 20 January 1987,[4] Taylor left the European Democrats, with whom the Conservatives sat, to join the controversial European Right group.[5]

He was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1982 for North Down. He then became MP for Strangford in 1983, until 2001. He was a member of Castlereagh Borough Council from 1993–1997. In February 1989 he joined the "hard right" Conservative Monday Club and appears on the list of their speakers at the Annual Conference of its Young Members' Group at the United Oxford & Cambridge Club in Pall Mall, on 18 November 1989, when he spoke on 'The Union and Northern Ireland'.[citation needed]

Following the 2001 general election, on 17 July he was created a life peer as Baron Kilclooney, of Armagh in the County of Armagh,[6] sitting as a crossbencher. He sat on the Northern Ireland Policing Board between 1998 and 2006. He continued to sit as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly until his retirement prior to the elections in March 2007. He remains the only active politician to have participated in all levels of government in Northern Ireland, from local council, the Parliament of Northern Ireland, Westminster, Europe, all previous failed Assemblies and Conventions and the current incarnation of the Assembly.[citation needed]

In January 2012, Taylor wrote to The Scotsman newspaper asserting that Scotland should be subject to partition, depending on the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum.[7]

In November 2017 and April 2018, he invited accusations of being a racist when he described Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, as 'Indian Leo Varadkar' and a 'typical Indian' in a series of tweets.[8][9]

Personal life[edit]

He married Mary Todd in 1970 and has six children.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gordon Gillespie (24 September 2009). The A to Z of the Northern Ireland Conflict. Scarecrow Press. pp. 243–. ISBN 978-0-8108-7045-1. 
  2. ^ "Biography of John Kilclooney". Retrieved 17 July 2018. 
  3. ^ Details of assassination attempt,; accessed 24 October 2015.
  4. ^ "A Chronology of the Conflict – 1987". Conflict Archive on the Internet. University of Ulster. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "John Taylor: Profile". BBC News. 30 January 2001. 
  6. ^ "No. 56281". The London Gazette. 20 July 2001. p. 8601. 
  7. ^ "Partition could come north of Border". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. 13 January 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "Lord Kilclooney withdraws 'Indian' Leo Varadkar tweet". BBC. 23 November 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2018. 
  9. ^ "Leo Varadkar: Peer criticised for Irish PM 'typical Indian' tweet". BBC. 30 April 2018. Retrieved 30 April 2018. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Northern Ireland
Preceded by
W.F. McCoy
Member of Parliament for South Tyrone
Parliament abolished
Northern Ireland Assembly (1973)
New assembly Assembly Member for Fermanagh & South Tyrone
Assembly abolished
Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention
New convention Member for North Down
Convention dissolved
European Parliament
New constituency MEP for Northern Ireland
Succeeded by
Jim Nicholson
Northern Ireland Assembly (1982)
New assembly MPA for North Down
Assembly abolished
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New constituency Member of Parliament for Strangford
Succeeded by
Iris Robinson
Northern Ireland Forum
New forum Member for Strangford
Forum dissolved
Northern Ireland Assembly
New assembly MLA for Strangford
Succeeded by
Michelle McIlveen
Political offices
Preceded by
Robert Porter
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs
Office abolished
New office Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs
Office abolished
Party political offices
Office abolished
Title last held by
Harold McCusker
Deputy Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party
Succeeded by
Sir Reg Empey