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Chichester-Clark, James, Lord Moyola

Chichester-Clark, James, Lord Moyola (1923–2002). Prime minister of Northern Ireland. Chichester-Clark, like his predecessor Terence O'Neill, was from a landed background. He was Unionist chief whip in the Stormont Parliament (1963–6), leader of the House of Commons (1966–7), and minister of agriculture (1967–9). He deftly united support among both the allies and opponents of the prime minister, O'Neill, when he resigned from the cabinet in April 1969 in opposition to the new local government franchise: he succeeded O'Neill on 1 May. In August 1969 British troops were introduced into Northern Ireland, a development which weakened the authority of the Stormont government. The emergence of the more militant Provisional IRA in early 1971 forced Chichester-Clark to demand a new security initiative from London; and when this was not forthcoming, he resigned (20 March), taking a life peerage. An affable but unimaginative figure, Chichester-Clark was disorientated by high-handed British government action and by the rapid escalation of violence. Terence O'Neill observed that for the 22 months of his premiership Chichester-Clark bore a permanent expression of worry.

Alvin Jackson

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