William Basil McIvor OBE, PC (NI) (17 June 1928 – 5 November 2004) was an Ulster Unionist politician, barrister and pioneer of integrated education.

Early life and education

The son of Rev. Frederick McIvor, a Methodist clergyman, McIvor was born in Tullyhommon, the County Fermanagh part of the village of Pettigo, the rest of which is in County Donegal, the village straddling the Northern Ireland border.[1][2] McIvor attended Methodist College, Belfast, and the Queen's University of Belfast and was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1950.[1][2] In his career at the Bar, Basil McIvor became Junior Crown Counsel and a Resident Magistrate in the 1970s.[1][2]

Political career

He was elected to the Northern Ireland Parliament as Ulster Unionist Party MP for Larkfield[3] in the 1969 election.[1] He was one of a group of MPs who supported the beleaguered Prime Minister, Terence O'Neill. Viewed as a liberal he was given the job of Minister for Community Relations by Brian Faulkner in 1971[4] and resigned from the Orange Order.

McIvor was a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, 1973, topping the poll in Belfast South,[5] and a member of the Ulster Unionist contingent who negotiated the Sunningdale Agreement in 1973. When the powersharing Executive was set up in the aftermath of Sunningdale McIvor headed the Education Department.[2] McIvor left politics after the fall of the Executive in 1974 and sat as a resident magistrate.

In 1987, he was subject of a motion tabled in the United Kingdom House of Commons by four UUP MPs who accused him of showing bias against unionists and members of the Orange Order in a County Antrim case and so demanded McIvor's removal from the bench.[6]


McIvor presided over the initial investigation into UVF supergrass William 'Budgie' Allen and that of several people accused of killing two corporals in Belfast.[2]


He was involved in campaigning for shared schools for Protestant and Catholic pupils in Northern Ireland.[1] In 1981 he became the first chairman of Lagan College, Northern Ireland's first integrated school.[2] When Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness became education minister he invited him to visit the college.[7] He was also a governor of Campbell College, Belfast from 1975 until his death.

Basil McIvor died on 5 November 2004 aged 76 while playing golf at Royal County Down.[2]


His son Jonathan McIvor was a senior police officer in both the Metropolitan Police Service and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) as well as providing law enforcement advice to the European Union Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories[8]

As a Chief Inspector in the Metropolitan Police Service, he was criticised by the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry for his failure to manage the initial investigation of the scene of the murder of Stephen Lawrence.[9]

Basil McIvor was appointed an OBE in the 1991 New Year Honours.


  1. ^ a b c d e Basil McIvor[dead link], obituary, The Independent, 16 November 2004
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Basil McIvor, obituary, The Daily Telegraph, 26 November 2004, retrieved 3 June 2010
  3. ^ "Northern Ireland Parliamentary Election Results: Counties: Antrim". election.demon.co.uk. 28 May 2001. Archived from the original on 28 May 2001. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  4. ^ "The Government of Northern Ireland". www.election.demon.co.uk. Archived from the original on 25 September 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  5. ^ "South Belfast 1973-1984". www.ark.ac.uk.
  6. ^ "Former power-sharing minister in NI dies". Irish Examiner. 5 November 2004.
  7. ^ Former power-sharing minister in NI dies, breakingnews.ie, 5 November 2004, retrieved 3 June 2010
  8. ^ "Jonathan McIvor (biographical details)". cosmos.ucc.ie. 12 March 2014. Archived from the original on 12 March 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  9. ^ "Chapter Twelve". chronicleworld.org. Archived from the original on 17 November 2011. Retrieved 12 March 2014.


Parliament of Northern Ireland New constituency Member of Parliament for Larkfield 1969–1973 Parliament abolished Northern Ireland Assembly (1973) New assembly Assembly Member for South Belfast 1973–1974 Assembly abolished Political offices Preceded byDavid Bleakley Minister for Community Relations 1971–1972 position abolished