Paddy Devlin Biography
Claim to Fame: Co-founder of the Social Democrat and Labor party in Northern Ireland
DOB: March 8, 1925
Date of Death: August 15, 1999
Diabetes Type: Unknown
A Northern Irish Social Democrat and Labour Activist, Paddy Devlin was a co-founder of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), an Irish nationalist political party that supports a united Ireland and a larger delegation of power from the Parliament of the United Kingdom to Northern Ireland, while the latter remains subject. Devlin was a former Irish Republican who abandoned the party due to its violent nature and sought to re-unite Catholic and Protestant workers in the north through socialism and center-left political ideology.
Born in Pound Loney, a subdivision of West Belfast, Devlin grew up in a highly political environment with his mother playing a significant role in the Nationalist Party. Devlin ‘s political career, however, began with his involvement with the Irish Republican group Fianna ireann and the Irish Republican Army. Both the IRA and Fianna ireann were excessive in their violence and, after a period spent imprisoned at Crumlin Road Goal, Devlin felt this violence was counterproductive and ultimately detrimental to the goal of a unified Ireland. Fianna ireann, following claims that it was a “terrorist organization,” would later devolve, disband and be replaced by gra Shinn Fin, the youth branch of the Irish republican political party Sinn Fin.
Following World War II, and his stay at Crumlin Road Goal, Devlin left the Republican movement and moved to Coventry, where he discovered and became a temporary member of the British Labour Party. Upon his return to Belfast, Devlin founded the Irish Labour Party after the National Ireland Labour Party had split, winning a seat on the city council. However, following claims that many party members were communists, the party was dismantled and Devlin forced off the council. Devlin would join the re-united National Ireland Labour Party in the mid 1960’s only to leave it again after he co-founded the Social Democratic and Labour Party in 1970.
Devlin played a significant role in the creation of the Sunningdale Agreement of 1974, an attempt to create a power-sharing Northern Ireland Assembly and collective Council of Ireland, until its end as a result of fierce opposition and violence later that same year.
Throughout the late 70’s and 80’s, Devlin tried to create a United Labour Party that would serve as broad-based labor representation, however this aim was never fully achieved. The 1990’s marked the beginning of the end for Paddy Devlin as his lifelong struggle with his diabetes began to prove too much. Devlin’s sight deteriorated and on August 15, 1999, at the age of 74, illness exacerbated his already poor health and Devlin died. He is remembered for his determination and his love for his country and the workingman, Catholic and Protestant alike.
Gingered Fruit Cups Chickpea Salad Ambrosia Chickpea Soup Mediterranean Salad with Bread sticks Almond Apricot Meringue Cookies Dijon and Tarragon Dip Red Wine Cucumber Salad Hanukkah Latkes Chili Cheese Corn Bread
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