Willie Hay, Baron Hay of Ballyore

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The Lord Hay of Ballyore
Official portrait of Lord Hay of Ballyore crop 2.jpg
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
16 December 2014
Life Peerage
3rd Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly
In office
8 May 2007 – 13 October 2014
DeputyDavid McClarty
Francie Molloy
John Dallat
Roy Beggs Jr
Mitchel McLaughlin
Preceded byEileen Bell
Succeeded byMitchel McLaughlin
Member of the Legislative Assembly
for Foyle
In office
25 June 1998 – 13 October 2014
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded byMaurice Devenney
Personal details
Born (1950-04-16) 16 April 1950 (age 69)
Milford, County Donegal, Republic of Ireland
Political partyDemocratic Unionist Party
Spouse(s)Doris, Lady Hay of Ballyore (née McMorris)
WebsiteProfile, mydup.com; accessed 18 December 2016

William Hay, Baron Hay of Ballyore (called Willie;[2] born 16 April 1950, Milford, County Donegal, Republic of Ireland) is a Northern Irish politician, and Irish citizen.[3] He was the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly from 8 May 2007 to 13 October 2014. He attended Faughan Valley High School, Drumahoe, County Londonderry.

Political career[edit]

Hay was elected to Londonderry City Council in Northern Ireland in 1981 for the Democratic Unionist Party. He served as Mayor in 1993 and Deputy Mayor in 1992. In 1996 he was an unsuccessful candidate in the Northern Ireland Forum election in Foyle.,[4] but was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998. He is a member of the Northern Ireland Housing Council and the Londonderry Port and Harbour Commission.[5] and in 2001 became a member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board.

Hay was elected Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly on 8 May 2007 following the restoration of devolution. He also is a prominent member of the Orange Order[6] and Apprentice Boys of Derry.

He is an Irish citizen with an Irish passport to avoid having to pay an £860 UK naturalisation fee required for people, such as him, born in the Republic of Ireland after 1946.[1]

On 6 October 2014, Hay announced his retirement from the Northern Ireland Assembly as both MLA and Speaker. The role of the Speaker had been taken on by Mitchel McLaughlin in a temporary capacity in September 2014 because of Hay's ill health. However, in a letter read to the Assembly, he announced his retirement from the Assembly effective from 13 October 2014 in order to concentrate on returning to good health.[7][8][9]

In August 2014, it was announced that he would get a life peerage to sit in the House of Lords and he opted to sit there as a crossbencher, despite being nominated by DUP.[10] Hay was ennobled on 16 December 2014, later than usual for a peerage to be gazetted,[clarification needed] and took the title Baron Hay of Ballyore, of Ballyore in the City of Londonderry.[11] He subsequently sat as a DUP member.[12]


  1. ^ a b Liam Clarke (8 July 2011). "Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness to make it easier to be British". The Belfast Telegraph.
  2. ^ Hay returned as NI Assembly speaker & Belfast Telegraph — Willie Hay to retire (Accessed 8 April 2018)
  3. ^ - 'DUP man not allowed British passport' - Belfast Telegraph, 20 June 2018
  4. ^ Northern Ireland elections
  5. ^ Personnel Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners
  6. ^ "Speaker misses out on the Twelfth.... to say I do". BBC News. 11 July 2010.
  7. ^ "NI Assembly Speaker William Hay to retire as MLA". BBC News. 6 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Assembly Speaker to stand down". Belfast Telegraph. 6 October 2014.
  9. ^ "William Hay retires as Speaker of Assembly". Newsletter. 6 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Karren Brady and Sir Stuart Rose among new life peers". BBC News. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  11. ^ "No. 61081". The London Gazette. 18 December 2014. p. 24538.
  12. ^ "Lord Hay of Ballyore profile". Parliament.uk. Retrieved 25 August 2016.

External links[edit]

Civic offices
Preceded by
Mary Bradley
Mayor of Derry
Succeeded by
Annie Courtney
Political offices
Preceded by
Eileen Bell
Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly
Succeeded by
Mitchel McLaughlin
Northern Ireland Assembly
New assembly Assembly Member for Foyle
Succeeded by
Maurice Devenney