David Alexander Tweed(born 13 November 1959 in Ballymoney, County Antrim) is an Irish former rugby union international and former Traditional Unionist Voice councillor on Ballymena Borough Council. He was convicted in 2012 on 13 counts of gross indecency, indecent assault of two young girls and inciting gross indecency. His conviction was quashed on 25 October 2016.
Tweed won four caps for Ireland in the mid-1990s, with his first, against France, in 1995.
Tweed was first elected as a DUP councillor for the Ballymena South electoral district in 1997.He was re-elected for the DUP in 2001 and 2005.
In 2007 Tweed was among six Ballymena DUP councillors who refused to canvass for the party in the Assembly elections because of the DUP's policy of sharing power with Sinn Féin.Tweed attempted to resign in February 2007, and he along with five other councillors subsequently resigned from the party and redesignated themselves as the Ulster Unionist Coalition Party (UUCP).
In 2009, four of the UUCP group left to join Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV),but Tweed remained with the UUCP along with councillor William Wilkinson, head of research for the unionist pressure group Families Acting for Innocent Relatives. In June 2010 Wilkinson was imprisoned, following his conviction for rape. In November 2010, Tweed joined the Traditional Unionist Voice bloc on the council, and he was re-elected in 2011 to Ballymena Borough Council as a TUV candidate.
Tweed was a member of the Orange Order and belonged to a lodge in Dunloy. He was involved in protests relating to the Parades Commission's restrictions on Orange marches in Dunloy.
On 29 October 1997, shortly after his election to Ballymena Council, Tweed was fined at Coleraine magistrates court for assault.
On 8 June 2006 at a Ballymena Borough Council meeting, Tweed said that he "questioned the upbringing" of a 15-year-old Catholic, Michael McIlveen, who had recently been murdered in Ballymena in a sectarian attack. He also claimed people linked to the victim's family had been involved in intimidation of Protestants after the murder.
On 22 September 2007, Tweed was stopped while driving a car under the influence of alcohol. On 21 January 2008, North Antrim Magistrates Court banned him from driving for a year and handed down a £250 fine.
In January 2009, Tweed was charged with ten sex offences against two young girls, spanning an eight-year period; he was acquitted in May 2009.He was acquitted on 27 November 2012 of one charge of indecent assault on a child.
On 28 November 2012, he was convicted on 13 counts of gross indecency, indecent assault of two young girls and inciting gross indecency, spanning an eight-year period from 1988 onwards.His conviction was quashed on 25 October 2016.
After the conviction was announced the Orange Order terminated his membership of the organisation. The Royal Black Institution, of which Tweed is also a member, stated it had begun the process of expelling him from its membership.Pending sentencing he remained a member of Ballymena Borough Council and of the TUV, although the party announced on 15 November that it had 'suspended' his membership "not because we doubt his innocence, but because this is what the party rules require." The TUV noted that the sex offences related "to a period long before he was a member of this party". The TUV chose one of its unsuccessful 2011 candidates, Timothy Gaston, to replace Tweed as a councillor.
Tweed was born on a farm outside Dunloy. Married in 1984, he and his wife have four children; the family lived in Ballymoney. Prior to his 2012 conviction Tweed was estranged from his wife, Margaret, and had been living in Ballymena. Employed as an infrastructure supervisor for Northern Ireland railways, he previously worked as a bouncer at a Ballymoney bar.
The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is a unionist political party in Northern Ireland favouring British identity. It was founded in 1971 during the Troubles by Ian Paisley, who led the party for the next 37 years. Now led by Arlene Foster, it is equal with Sinn Féin in having the most seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and it is the fifth-largest party in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.
Ballymena is a former local government district with borough status in Northern Ireland. It was one of twenty-six districts created on 1 October 1973 and covered the town of Ballymena and the surrounding area which includes small towns including Broughshane, Cullybackey, Galgorm, Ahoghill and Portglenone. The borough had an area of 200 square miles (520 km2) and a population of 64,044 according to the 2011 census. The borough had a central location within Northern Ireland and was served by the M2 motorway and with a station on the Belfast-Derry/Londonderry railway line. Belfast International Airport itself was only 18 miles (29 km) away and the Belfast City Airport is 30 miles (48 km) from Ballymena. It was also accessible to the seaports of Larne and Belfast, 20 and 27 miles (43 km) away respectively. As of 2015 it has been replaced by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.
Ballymoney was a local government district with borough status in Northern Ireland. It was headquartered in Ballymoney. Other towns in the borough included Dervock, Dunloy, Cloughmills and Rasharkin. The borough had a population of 31,224 according to the 2011 census.
James Hugh Allister,, is an Ulster unionist politician and barrister from Northern Ireland. He is the leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) political party, since 2011 serving as the party's MLA in the Northern Ireland Assembly, representing North Antrim.
North Antrim is a parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom House of Commons. The current MP is Ian Paisley Jr of the DUP.
Limavady Borough Council was a local government body in Northern Ireland. In May 2015 it merged with Coleraine Borough Council, Ballymoney Borough Council and Moyle District Council under local government reorganisation in Northern Ireland to become Causeway Coast and Glens District Council.
Daithí Gerard McKay, is an Irish republican and former politician. He was the Chair of the Finance Committee in the Northern Irish Assembly from 2012 to 2016 and an MLA for North Antrim for 9 years. He successfully brought forward legislation that led to the introduction of a Carrier Bag Levy in Northern Ireland and the abolishment of rates for hundreds of Community Amateur Sport Clubs (CASCs).
Andrew Gardiner Kane, known as Gardiner Kane is a former Unionist politician in Northern Ireland.
Traditional Unionist Voice (TUV) is a unionist political party in Northern Ireland. The party was founded on 7 December 2007, from a split in the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Its first and current leader is Jim Allister who, until 2009, sat as an independent Member of the European Parliament, having been elected for the DUP in 2004. In the 2009 European elections Allister lost his seat when he stood as a TUV candidate. In June 2008, it was announced that former Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) MP William Ross had been made party president.
Bobby McKee MBE is a Unionist politician in Larne, Northern Ireland and former member of the Ulster Volunteer Force.
Robin Stirling is a former Unionist politician in Ballymena, County Antrim.Having previously sat on Ballymena Borough Council as a Traditional Unionist Voice member and for a period before as a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) councillor.
David McIlveen was a Democratic Unionist Party politician in Northern Ireland who was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly for the North Antrim constituency in 2011. The constituency has since been abolished.
Walter Millar is a unionist politician in Northern Ireland.
The Ulster Unionist Coalition Party (UUCP) was a minor unionist political formation in Northern Ireland.
A by-election for the UK House of Commons constituency of Mid Ulster in Northern Ireland was held on 7 March 2013. The election was triggered by the resignation of Martin McGuinness, who had been elected to the seat in 1997 as the Sinn Féin candidate. The election was won by Francie Molloy, also of Sinn Féin.
The Caleb Foundation, created in 1998, is one of the leading creationist pressure groups in Northern Ireland. It also lobbies on a range of social policy issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage from an evangelical Protestant perspective, and has been particularly influential with Democratic Unionist Party ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive. The Foundation describes its mission as "promoting the fundamentals of the historic evangelical Protestant faith".
The first election to Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, part of the Northern Ireland local elections on 22 May 2014, returned 40 members to the newly-formed council via Single Transferable Vote. The Democratic Unionist Party won a plurality of votes and seats.
The first election to Causeway Coast and Glens District Council, part of the Northern Ireland local elections on 22 May 2014, returned 40 members to the newly-formed council via Single Transferable Vote. The Democratic Unionist Party won a plurality of first-preference votes and seats.
The first election to Mid and East Antrim District Council, part of the Northern Ireland local elections on 22 May 2014, returned 40 members to the newly-formed council via Single Transferable Vote. The Democratic Unionist Party were the largest party in both first-preference votes and seats.
The first election to North Down and Ards District Council, part of the Northern Ireland local elections on 22 May 2014, returned 40 members to the newly-formed council via Single Transferable Vote. The Democratic Unionist Party won a plurality of first-preference votes and seats.