We all respected Lord Molyneaux

Lord Molyneaux
Lord Molyneaux

I have been interested in politics all my life.

I think I was about nine years old when my late mother took me to Killowen Orange Hall in Coleraine to meet Lord Brookeborough. She was a Fermanagh woman reared in Florencecourt.



I thought it very exciting and important to meet a lord and to have a cup of tea and sandwich with him.

Since then I have worked with many Ulster Unionist leaders but there will only ever be one Jim Molyneaux.

He treated everyone the same: there was no-one more important than anyone else.

In Jim Molyneaux’s days we all had a job to do: at elections he would visit different areas and all would go out to support our leader as he supported the candidates.

I was president of the Young Unionists for a term and they had so much respect for him.

At the tea-break they would dance about and do a bit of singing and they knew Jim would join in with them. Then they would all go home happy after a really good Young Unionist meeting.

When he attended fund-raising events, he would go round all the tables and stalls and speak to everybody. When people were leaving, they all used to say: “That man Molyneaux is just lovely.”

I attended the Ulster Says No meetings in Belfast in 1985. He was there and there was no roaring, no throwing his arms about. He just stood there smiling as always and clapping his hands.

Jim was a quiet man but he knew how to handle opposition from other unionist parties. He was always in charge.

The Ulster Unionist Party was united. No fall-outs, no behind-back deals.

He was in favour of direct rule from Westminster, and so am I and I always will be.

The present arrangement at Stormont is a threat to the Union.

Lord Molyneaux was a great man and I am honoured that I shared his commitment to direct rule..

Pauline Armitage