On This Day … 28 March [2022]

People (Births)

  • 1955 – John Alderdice, Baron Alderdice, Northern Irish psychiatrist and politician, 1st Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

John Alderdice

John Thomas Alderdice, Baron Alderdice (born 28 March 1955) is a Northern Ireland politician.

He was the Speaker and a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLA) for East Belfast from 1998 to 2004 and 1998 to 2003, respectively. Alderdice was the leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland from 1987 to 1998, and since 1996 has sat in the House of Lords as a Liberal Democrat.

He was educated at Ballymena Academy and the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) where he studied medicine and qualified in 1978. In 1977 he married Joan Hill, with whom he has two sons and one daughter. He worked part-time as a consultant psychiatrist in psychotherapy in the NHS from 1988 until he retired from psychiatric practice in 2010. He also lectured at Queen’s University’s Faculty of Medicine between 1991 and 1999.

Alderdice claims a distant relationship to John King, a 19th-century Australian explorer and the sole survivor of the Burke and Wills expedition.

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