Lord Laird was a champion of unionism who always had special part to play in Twelfth parade

I am so sorry to hear about the death of Lord John Laird.

Thursday, 12th July 2018, 6:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th July 2018, 6:43 pm
Lord Laird in period costume at the 12th July Orange Order celebrations in Belfast in 2012

I first remember as a young man going to the visitors’ gallery in the Northern Ireland Parliament.

John Laird was speaking from the dispatch box and I was so impressed by his whole performance.

I have often seen him at election time going into the Donegall Road polling station; so smartly dressed with his Ulster Unionist red, white and blue rosette.

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To me, he was a champion of unionism.

Many Grosvenor Road, Donegall Road and Sandy Row people will remember his father, Dr Norman Laird and all the Laird family with great affection.

As we parade tomorrow I am sure we shall miss John Laird as he always had a special part to play in the parade.

I feel so sad, but at the same time proud that I knew John Laird personally and the inspiration that he has had on my life.

Billy Dickson BEM, Belfast BT9