Harold McCusker

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Harold McCusker
File:Harold McCusker.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Upper Bann
In office
9 June 1983 – 12 February 1990
Preceded by Seat created
Succeeded by David Trimble
Member of Parliament
for Armagh
In office
28 February 1974 – 9 June 1983
Preceded by John Maginnis
Succeeded by Seat abolished
Personal details
Born James Harold McCusker
(1940-02-07)7 February 1940
Lurgan, Northern Ireland
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Portadown, Northern Ireland
Nationality British
Political party Ulster Unionist
Spouse(s) Jennifer McCusker
Children 3
Alma mater Stranmillis University College
Occupation Politician
Profession Teacher
Religion Methodist

James Harold McCusker (7 February 1940 — 12 February 1990) was a Northern Ireland Ulster Unionist Party politician who served as the Deputy Leader of the UUP Assembly Group from 1982-86.

The youngest son of Jim & Lily McCusker (He had one older Brother), he was born and raised in the heart of Lurgan. Educated at Lurgan Model Primary School, Lurgan College and Stranmillis University College, before qualifying as a teacher. Before entering politics he worked in industry, latterly with Goodyear, in their Craigavon Plant.

He represented the Armagh constituency, and was first returned to the British House of Commons at the February 1974 general election. He was returned again in October 1974 and in the 1979 election. In 1982 he topped the poll in Armagh in the Assembly election.

At the 1983 general election, McCusker was returned for the new seat of Upper Bann. Alongside other Unionist MPs, he resigned his seat in protest at the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985, in order to contest his seat again at the ensuing by-election. He was returned again at the 1987 general election, which was to prove his last — he died of cancer in 1990, causing another by-election, which was won by future Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble.

Personal life

McCusker was an Orangeman and staunch Unionist. He was married, with 3 sons, Moore, James and Colin. His youngest son, Colin (who was 18 at the time of his father's death), ran for the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2011 polling 3,402 1st preference votes, but failed to get elected. He served on Craigavon Council from February 2012 - March 2015 (also Ulster Unionist) and was elected the last Mayor of Craigavon in June 2014. Colin was elected to the new Armagh City, Banbridge & Craogavon Borough Council under RPA in May 2014.

Prior to his death from cancer in 1990, five days after his 50th birthday, McCusker was expected to rise further in the Ulster Unionist Party and British political scenes, due to his ability and popularity among his peers and the wider public. He was a member of the Methodist Church of Ireland (Lurgan circuit).

Election history

General Election 1987: Upper Bann
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP Harold McCusker 25,137 61.5 4.6
SDLP Brid Rodgers 8,676 20.5 3.7
Sinn Féin Brendan Curran 3,126 7.4 -2.0
Alliance Fionnuala Cook 2,487 5.9 N/A
Workers' Party Tom French 2,004 4.7 -0.8
Majority 16,461
Turnout 66.0 -6.0
UUP hold Swing
Upper Bann by-election, 1986
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP Harold McCusker 29,311
Workers' Party Tom French 6,978
Majority 22,333
UUP hold Swing
General Election 1983: Upper Bann
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
UUP Harold McCusker 24,888 56.9 N/A
SDLP James McDonald 7,807 17.9 N/A
DUP Jim Wells 4,547 10.4 N/A
Sinn Féin Brendan Curran 4,110 9.4 N/A
Workers' Party Tom French 2,392 5.5 N/A
Majority 17,081 N/A
Turnout 72.0 N/A
UUP hold Swing

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
John Maginnis
Member of Parliament for Armagh
Feb 19741983
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Upper Bann
Succeeded by
David Trimble
Party political offices
Preceded by
Deputy Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party
Succeeded by