George Dawson has died

East Antrim DUP MLA and Grand Master of the Independent Orange Order, George Dawson has died after a short illness.

  • slug

    Very sad news.

    I didn’t know George, but I did see him on TV a couple of times and thought he was a very able speaker, making intelligent points in an articulate way.

  • Miss Fitz

    I am very sorry to hear that. He was a real gentleman and a very pleasant person on the occasions I met him. I still have a little plaque of King Billy he gave me one year in Ballycastle.
    May he rest in peace

  • politico

    So sad to see a man so young with a family and so much to live for pass away.

  • A real shock and very sad news indeed.

  • Travis

    Very sad news indeed. Condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.

  • Travis

    Let me just add that I hope all contentious marches will continue to be re-routed.

    I extend my sympathies once again to George Dawson’s family.

  • McBurney

    A true gent, who will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  • mchinadog


    Shame on you at a time of great sadness to George Dawson’s family to post a blog about contentious marches. I personally think that it should be removed.

  • mchinadog

    It is with much sadness that I learned of the death of George, he was one of the nicest people you could have met. His sincerity abounded and his dedication to all aspects of his life whether in private or public was unquestionable. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. A sad loss to the DUP, but especially to his wife Vi and his family. John 14 verses 1 – 6. Good night George see you in the morning.

  • Token Dissent

    Very sad news. Condolences to friends and family.

    I heard about Mr Dawson’s ill-health at Saturday’s May Day rally in Belfast. A speaker told of Mr Dawson’s assistance in organising the rally, and his historical interest and pride in the role of the Independent Orange Order in the 1907 Dockers’ Strike. The diverse crowd at the rally (not natural DUPers!) gave a loud round of applause in approval.

    Northern Irish political life will be much the poorer for his absence.

  • jake

    never heard of him! like jill dando – jill who?

  • james

    Dawson’s cross-community verdict on the proposed visit of the pope to Northern Ireland.

    Mr. Dawson called for the formation of a coalition of Protestants to oppose any Papal visit “a coalition which will oppose every false papal claim, which will make every route contentious and which will assert the liberty of the Protestant conscience”.

  • IJP

    Token Dissent perhaps said it best.

    I know many people a long way from the DUP who will agree absolutely that NI politics, and economics, will be the poorer for his absence. I’m one of them.

    Thoughts and prayers to his family.

  • observer

    Dawson’s cross-community verdict on the proposed visit of the pope to Northern Ireland.

    Mr. Dawson called for the formation of a coalition of Protestants to oppose any Papal visit “a coalition which will oppose every false papal claim, which will make every route contentious and which will assert the liberty of the Protestant conscience”. Posted by james

    and the point is ?? the man has to believe every catholic diktat or what?

    your post shows more of your bigotry than anything else

  • dodrade

    My condolences to his family at this time.

    Perhaps I shouldn’t bring this up, but since the main point of difference between the Independents and the Orange Order, namely the latter’s link with the UUP has been removed, and given Saulters and Dawson seemed to work well together, why haven’t they reunited?

  • Token Dissent

    Will you people please have some common sense and respect.

  • PaddyReilly

    The man is blest that hath not lent
    to wicked men his ear,
    Nor led his life as sinners do,
    nor sat in scorner’s chair.
    But in the law of God the Lord
    doth set his whole delight,
    And in the same doth exercise
    himself both day and night.

    O BEANNAICHT’ an duine sin nach gluais
    ‘an comhairle nan daoi,
    ‘An slighe fhiair nan peacach baoth’,
    ‘n a sheasamh fòs nach bi;
    ‘An caithir fanoid luchd an spòrs
    nach togair suidh’ gu bràth:
    Ach ‘g am bheil toil do naomh-reachd Dhè,
    ‘g a smuaineach’ oidhch’ is là.

  • Bigger Picture

    Extremely upset to hear this news. George was such a genuine guy and an extremely talented and able MLA who would have no doubt been a great asset in the future assembly. Have comfort in the knowledge that George was saved through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ and is suffering no more, for to be with Christ is far far greater.

  • Will Crawley’s blog post on George Dawson contains a prayer written by someone of the same name: a 19th Century cleric called George Dawson. Check link.

    The prayer:

    Grant unto us, Almighty God, in all time of sore distress,
    the comfort of the forgiveness of our sins.
    In time of darkness give us blessed hope,
    in time of sickness of body give us quiet courage;
    and when the heart is bowed down, and the soul is very heavy,
    and life is a burden, and pleasure a weariness,
    and the sun is too bright, and life too mirthful,
    then may that Spirit, the Spirit of the Comforter, come upon us,
    and after our darkness may there be the clear shining of the heavenly light;
    that so, being uplifted again by Thy mercy,
    we may pass on through this our mortal life
    with quiet courage, patient hope, and unshaken trust,
    hoping through Thy loving-kindness and tender mercy
    to be delivered from death into the large life of the eternal years.
    Hear us of Thy mercy, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • Gonzo

    Nor will you be after your next yellow card.

    Condolences to the Dawson family.

  • Comrade Stalin

    What a sad, unexpected loss, at only 45. Condolences to his family.

  • mchinadog

    Token dissent – yellow card

    I agree totally with you. The views expressed by some of the people on this are in part disgraceful and in the whole sickening. These people should have been red carded some time ago. The family of George are grieving for a husband, father, and do not need these vitriolic statements nor does Slugger need this type of person on their site. I would encourage you if you cannot say anything respectful then please say nothing at all.

  • PP

    A sad loss of a husband,father, businessman and able politican.

    I hope that no “Ivan Foster’ types interpret Mr Dawson’s passing as judgement from God upon the Christians in the DUP.

  • Ginfizz

    I am very sad at this news. George Dawson was an extremely talented person and he brought these great talents to every sphere he operated in – Business, Politics, Church and the loyal orders. He would have made a fine minister and I have no doubt that had he still been with us that’s where he would have ended up.

    My thoughts at this time are with George’s wife, Vi and his two children.

  • Mark Dunn

    This is very sad and unexpected news. George was a very friendly man and certainly a credit to our constituency in the Assembly.

    My thoughts are with his family.

  • Several years ago, I heard Mr Dawson acquitting himself very well on Sunday Sequence. The following day, I was in a cafe in Bedford Street and spotted him at a table with someone. I went up to speak to him; he thanked me and took my telephone number promising to call me back. He did so that very evening, having never met me before, and we had a long chat on the phone, something like 90 minutes. He struck me as a cut well above the average DUP type (at least at that time) and it’s tragic for unionism that he is no longer with us. There’s no doubt that he had the talent, the comparative youth and the Orange links to reach the very top, and unionism is much the poorer for his loss.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I feel I should point out that my ‘yellow card’ remark was directed at some disgraceful remarks which Fair Deal has apparently and rightly removed.

    Just to avoid confusion.

  • bubble bursting

    Whilst I, of course, will happily offer my condolences to his family, colleagues, and friends, I do think that it needs to be pointed out that George’s character contained more than just the picture of sweetness and light painted by some of the other posters to this thread.

    Certainly, I’ve had less than pleasant experiences with a number of businesses that he has been involved with.

    One of the most notable incidents was when I performed some gratis work for a business with which he was involved after my previous employer had let them down. Mr Dawson was considerably more difficult than any paying client that I’ve ever had.

    In his dealings with me, he was rude, arrogant, seemed to delight in yelling at his employees in front of me – and, at one point, made a lunge for me after I asked him to leave my office following a particularly unpleasant temper tantrum.

    I was not aware of his DUP links at the time, but now that I am, I realise just how perfect a fit he was with the bald, red-faced, hectoring, troglodytic, violence-prone DUP stereotype harboured by the middle classes.

  • darth rumsfeld

    He had more brains in his litle finger than in most of our Ministers -tragic that only his illness prevented him using his talents. This is a real loss to the political class in general and the people of N I. A few more like people of ability who did their job quietly and weren’t obsessed with getting on hearts and Minds is what we need, and don’t have.

  • Ginfizz


    I doubt very much your ridiculous claims. Have you no shame at all?

  • bubble bursting


    I’m perfectly capable of feeling shame, thanks – and I must say that I resent very much your hurtful implication that I am a liar.

    I do, though, feel deeply irritated by the excessively soporific tone adopted by some of the posters. Whilst not, of course, wishing to speak ill of the dead, it is important that we should not embarrass ourselves with only marginally-truthful spin about what a wonderful man he was.

    I know extremely little about Mr Dawson’s political career – but I would have been happy to accept that he was a decent, helpful, hard-working MLA. Good on the DUP for thrusting such an individual to the fore, if so!

    However, the whitewashing of some of the negative aspects of his personality – his brusqueness, his temper, his lack of patience and respect – merely provokes a cynicism that surely diminishes the respect that those who have encountered him in our professional lives might have held for him.

  • mchinadog

    Bubble bursting

    There is an old saying you should not speak ill of the dead. I hope when your epitaph is written that people are more gracious to you then you have been to George Dawson. Having said that you must have been dealing with and knew a different George to the one most of us knew or else you are making mischief. I always admired him as a good businessman, a helpful man and most importantly a Godly man so I am not sure were your description of him comes from, it is certainly one that I do not recognise.

  • OB

    I knew George through his work and I have to say that he was a lovely man to me at least!

    He helped me greatly when completing a grant application and always seemed to be there for any advice if you needed it.

    Condolences to his family, friends and party colleagues. I have no doubt that he will be sadly missed and if his life had not ended at such a young age he would have had a very important role in the future of politics and peace in Northern Ireland.


  • dodrade

    There is no way of saying this without seeming nosy but does anyone know what his short illness was?

  • Ginfizz



  • prolefodder

    A decent man, of strong political and religious views has passed away – I encountered him a couple of times on the political/panel circuit and always found him humorous and professional despite having opposing views to mine. The DUP will be worse off for his passing, as will politics in NI. I always found people like George representative of what politics could/should be like (in NI or elsewhere) – where contention and honestly held strong differing believes was equal if not more important than consenus.