Bertie McConnell
Robert Dodd McConnell, known as Bertie McConnell (born 1921) is a former Army officer and politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...


McConnell was born in Bangor, County Down
Bangor, County Down
Bangor is a large town in County Down, Northern Ireland. It is a seaside resort on the southern side of Belfast Lough and within the Belfast Metropolitan Area. Bangor Marina is one of the largest in Ireland, and holds Blue Flag status...

, and served in the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. During the war, he lost his sight.

In 1958, McConnell was elected to Bangor Borough Council, serving until 1973. He was elected at the Northern Ireland general election, 1969
Northern Ireland general election, 1969

, as an independent Unionist
Independent Unionist
See also Independent .Independent Unionist has been a label sometimes used by candidates in elections in the United Kingdom, indicating a support for Unionism, retaining the unity of the British state....

 Member of Parliament for Bangor
Bangor (Northern Ireland Parliament constituency)
Bangor was a single-member county constituency of the Parliament of Northern Ireland.-Boundaries and Boundary Changes:Bangor was created by the Electoral Law Act 1968 as a division of County Down. It was located to the east of Belfast...

. Despite being an independent, he was a supporter of Ulster Unionist Party
Ulster Unionist Party
The Ulster Unionist Party – sometimes referred to as the Official Unionist Party or, in a historic sense, simply the Unionist Party – is the more moderate of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland...

 Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Northern Ireland
The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland was the de facto head of the Government of Northern Ireland. No such office was provided for in the Government of Ireland Act 1920. However the Lord Lieutenant, as with Governors-General in other Westminster Systems such as in Canada, chose to appoint someone...

 Terence O'Neill
Terence O'Neill
Terence Marne O'Neill, Baron O'Neill of the Maine, PC was the fourth Prime Minister of Northern Ireland and leader of the Ulster Unionist Party...


McConnell joined the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
The Alliance Party of Northern Ireland is a liberal and nonsectarian political party in Northern Ireland. It is Northern Ireland's fifth-largest party overall, with eight seats in the Northern Ireland Assembly and one in the House of Commons....

 alongside Phelim O'Neill and Tom Gormley
Tom Gormley
Tom Gormley was a politician in Northern Ireland.Born in Claudy, Gormley became a farmer before following his brother Paddy into politics. He was elected to Strabane Rural District Council in 1947, and to Tyrone County Council in 1950....

 in early 1972. He was elected to North Down Borough Council
North Down Borough Council
North Down Borough Council is a Local Council in County Down in Northern Ireland with an overall population of around 80,000. Its main town is Bangor, 20 km east of Belfast with a population of approximately 55,000. The Council is headquartered in Bangor. Its secondary centre is the former Urban...

 in 1973, and to the Northern Ireland Assembly
Northern Ireland Assembly (1973)
The Northern Ireland Assembly was a legislative assembly set up by the Government of the United Kingdom on 3 May 1973 to restore devolved government to Northern Ireland with the power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive made up of unionists and nationalists....

 for North Down
North Down (Assembly constituency)
North Down is a constituency in the Northern Ireland Assembly.The seat was first used for a Northern Ireland-only election for the Northern Ireland Assembly, 1973...

. He held this seat on the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention
Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention
The Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention was an elected body set up in 1975 by the UK Labour government of Harold Wilson as an attempt to deal with constitutional issues surrounding the status of Northern Ireland....

in 1975, and served as the President of the Alliance Party in 1976.

McConnell stood down from his council seat in 1981 and took no further role in active politics.
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