James McSparran

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James McSparran QC (1 May 1892 – 15 April 1970), was an Irish barrister and nationalist politician.


McSparran was born in Glasgow to an Irish family [1] He studied at St Mungo's Academy, Glasgow, then St Malachy's College in Belfast, Queen's University of Belfast, and the National University of Ireland. [2]

McSparran was called to the Irish Bar in 1916, and later became a King's Counsel. [2] He also had interests in the Irish News . [3]

Political career

At the 1945 Northern Ireland general election, McSparran was elected for the Nationalist Party in Mourne: during his own campaign McSparran emphasised the need for northern nationalists to unite to help themselves, as well as promoting their aim to end partition. [4]

He immediately became the Chairman of the Nationalist Party at Stormont, and was the founding Chairman of the Anti-Partition of Ireland League. In 1953, he became instead the President of the League, and in 1958, he stood down from Parliament and his position as Chairman of the Nationalist Party in order to concentrate on his legal career. [2]

McSparran remained active as a barrister and supported the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association. [5]

An avid Glasgow Celtic fan, he died in Hampden Park as he watched the European Cup semi-final between Glasgow Celtic and Leeds United. [4]

Family life

McSparran had, through his Antrim roots, deep connections with many prominent Catholic families with clerical links and business interests. His brothers included Canon John McSparran, a senior priest of the Diocese of Down and Connor and Dr. Daniel McSparran, Chairman of the The Irish News newspaper and Chair of Belfast Celtic. [6]

His son, James D. McSparran QC also practised at the Northern Ireland Bar. [7]

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  1. "Dictionary of Ulster Biography". Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 27 August 2008.
  2. 1 2 3 "Northern Ireland Parliament Elections Results: Biographies". Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2008.
  3. Michael Farrell, Northern Ireland: The Orange State
  4. 1 2 "Dictionary of Irish Biography - Cambridge University Press". dib.cambridge.org. Archived from the original on 27 September 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  5. 28–31 October, 1968 Archived 16 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine , Queen's University of Belfast Historical Documents Project
  6. https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0002318/19640918/023/0002 . Retrieved 27 September 2021 via British Newspaper Archive.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. "My memories of the late James McSparran QC - Eamonn Mallie". Archived from the original on 19 April 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
Parliament of Northern Ireland
Preceded by
Member of Parliament for Mourne
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Leader of the Nationalist Party at Stormont
Succeeded by
New political party Chairman of the Irish Anti-Partition League
Succeeded by