Frank Maguire

Frank Maguire

Meredith Francis (Frank) Maguire (September 1929 – 5 March 1981) was an Independent Republican Member of Parliament in Northern Ireland.

Born in Lisnaskea and educated in Athlone, Maguire worked in his youth in a pub owned by his uncle, future Nationalist Party politician John Carron. He was attracted to the cause of Irish Republicanism and was interned without trial in Crumlin Road gaol in Belfast for two years, within which he was the Irish Republican Army Commanding Officer. After his release, he opposed violence and became a pub landlord himself. [David Beresford, " [ Ten Men Dead] "]

In the Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency, there was a close balance between Irish Nationalist and Republican, and Unionist voters. In the February 1974 UK general election, the Nationalist/Republican vote was split between a Unity and a Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) candidate leading to victory for the Ulster Unionist Party candidate. With the aim of fielding a single candidate, discussions among nationalist and republicans in the constituencies agreed Maguire as a joint candidate - in what has been termed the spirit of the Unity movement.

Maguire was elected in the October 1974 general election with more than half the vote. Although not an abstentionist, he rarely attended the British House of Commons. He did attend for the 1979 vote of no confidence in the Labour Party government, only to abstain in person.

The government called an election, and Maguire was re-elected against opposition from a dissident SDLP candidate, as well as from both the Ulster Unionist Party and the United Ulster Unionist Party.

Maguire's death in 1981 produced a by-election which was won by Bobby Sands.


* 'Who's Who of British MPs: Volume IV, 1945-1979' by Michael Stenton and Stephen Lees (Harvester, Brighton, 1979) ISBN 0-85527-335-6

External links

* [ "The Night the Government Fell"] , BBC archive on the 1979 vote of confidence, including photo of Maguire

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