Monday, 9 March 2015
Today we learned of the passing of Lord Molyneaux, Jim as he was widely known. I first met Jim through his nephew Ian, a friend from school. Once we were old enough to drive a group of us would regularly head out the road to Crumlin to Ian's home farm. Nestled behind high hedges was Jims home and at that time stalking the farm buildings were the police guards ever present. Frequently as we tucked in to Ian's mums home baking Jim would drop in to say hello. His quiet demeanour and ways in keeping with the dignity with which he served the constituency. I learned then that politics was not about shouting, it was and remains about talking, with the quiet confidence of being right. I last spoke to Jim a few years ago at the local agricultural show as he sat at the UUP stand enjoying the weather and the craic. Already showing the signs of the illness that would dull his sharp mind he still focussed intently when the conversation turned to Westminster and politics. As an Ulster Unionist I know just how much his tenure as Leader represented his strength of character. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time.