Founder of Alliance dies…

FOUNDER Alliance Party member, Sir Robert Cooper, has died aged 68. He was perhaps best known for his commitment to ending discrimination in the workplace.

Bob, later Sir Robert, Cooper was born in Co Donegal and was the first Joint Political Chairman of the Alliance Party with Sir Oliver Napier.

He was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1973 as a member for West Belfast. Afterwards, he was elected as Alliance’s Deputy Leader, a position he held until 1976.

He was appointed Chairman of the Fair Employment Agency in 1976, and also chaired its successor, the Fair Employment Commission, from 1990-99.

In other Alliance news, the party has announced it will run David Alderdice, brother of former leader Lord Alderdice, in the Westminster election in North Down. This could have consequences for the incumbent MP, Lady Sylvia Hermon.

  • idunnomeself

    so does that mean they are standing aside in East Belfast? was he not the obvious candidate there?

  • willowfield

    I’d imagine Naomi Long would be the East Belfast candidate.

  • Keith M

    The North Down news is very significant. Alderdice is a good candidate and will certainly impact the UUP vote. The question now is whether Robert McCartney will stand aside. If he does then it’s a straight DUP vs UUP fight and my money would be on the DUP. It’s ironic that the future of the UUP in Westminster could now be down to whether former member McCartney stands aside as North Down is the most likely seat for the UUP if it is to avoid wipeout at the next election.

    I would have thought that Eileen Bell cannot be happy with parachuting Alderdice and I would expect Naomi Long to run in East Belfast. Who knows the APNI and the Trimelite faction of the UUP might be merging (on equal terms) sooner than you might imagine.

  • ShayPaul

    If only we could produce more men like Bob, the world would be a much better place. He will be greatly missed.

  • Moderate Unionist

    Agreed ShayPaul

  • ulsterman

    Interesting. The UUP victory last time depended on Alliance votes. If Bob McCartney were wanting to stand I think the DUP will give him a free run.
    The next MP for N.Down will be anti agreement.

    East Belfast will be a shoo-in for Peter whoever stands against him.

    God Save The Queen.

  • Alan

    Bob was also a staunch supporter of Integrated Education throughout the years, and this should be lauded. He was always there for parents who wanted a different future for their children. He will be missed by the whole integrated movement.

  • DCB


    Thanks – he will be sorely missed by his family

  • Doreen

    What on earth did the Deputy Leader, Eileen Bell, do to deserve this?

    I thought that by now the Alliance Party had had enough of the Alderdices!


  • Mick Fealty

    Bob was a very decent man. I used to clean his windows when I was back in sixth form. My own thoughts are with his family.