"History is past politics, and politics present history." John Robert Seeley

"The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see." Winston Churchill

"What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing." Aristotle


Lord Ken Maginnis’ Visit to St. Paul’s College


Guest Speaker:

Lord Ken Maginnis

(Ulster Unionist Party & House of Lords)


Politics & Society in Northern Ireland, 1949 – 1993

Shane McNamara (left) presents Lord Maginnis with a book entitled “Phrases Make History Here” & Shane Byrne (right) presents a JCT Rugby Jersey.

On the 26th September 2011, Lord Ken Maginnis, a prominent Unionist politician and member of the British House of Lords visited St. Paul’s College to speak to our 5th & 6th Year History classes about his life and career experiences in Northern Ireland.

He began with an introductory speech to let the students know more about his life and his views. He described growing up in Northern Ireland, the kind of life he experienced and how he travelled throughout the Republic in his early adult life, mostly through playing rugby.

Lord Maginnis then began a ‘Q. & A.’ with the students. Topics ranged from a comparison between Northern Ireland and the Greek & Turkish Cypriot situation.

One student asked Mr. Maginnis about his views on Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister. He questioned the validity of Mr. Blair calling himself a ‘Nationalist’.

Mr. Maginnis then described his career in the security forces of Northern Ireland. Students were suprised to learn that there had been a number of attempts on his life, both as a soldier and politician, during the conflict and that he had apprehended criminals from both sides of the social and political divide.

It was interesting to hear how Mr. Maginnis described his relationship with Catholics, saying that “…if my neighbour needed help, I’d help him and he would do the same for me. It didn’t matter where you went to Church on Sunday.”

From a young age, Mr. Maginnis had a passion for rugby and he spoke of how it was a good way of building relations between the north & south.

He also mentioned how he had played a part in taking the Government of the Republic of Ireland to court over the original Articles 2 & 3 of Bunreacht na hEireann (1937 – 1998).

Before Lord Maginnis departed, he was presented with a St. Paul’s College JCT Rugby jersey by Shane Byrne and a book entitled “Phrases Make History Here” presented by Shane McNamara, detailing many famous quotes by Irish & British politicians, clergy & activists of Nationalist, Republican & Unionist persuasion throughout the 20th Century. Lord Maginnis then kindly stood for photographs with Mr. McCormack (Principal), Mr. Marron (Deputy Principal), Mr. McSweeney (6th Year History teacher) and the students of both 5th Year (Ms. Dowling) & 6th Year History (pictured below).


Report by Sean Paul Power, Gareth Tyrell & Jamie Webb

(6th Year History)




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