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Desmond Boal (born 1929) is a former Northern Irish Unionist politician.

Boal had a legal career before he entered politics in 1960. He was the Unionist member of the Northern Ireland Parliament for the Shankill constituency between 1960 and 1972. He was very critical of the leadership under Captain Terence O'Neill, then Prime Minister of Northern Ireland. Desmond Boal was against O'Neill's attempt at improve relations with both the Irish government and with the minority Catholic community in Northern Ireland along with many backbenchers. He was very prominent in the campaign to bring the fall of O'Neill in April 1969. He was not content with James Chichester-Clark and Brian Faulkner who came to Government after O'Neill. Boal resigned from the Unionist Party in 1971 and joined Ian Paisley, in establishing the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in order to provide dissident Unionist opinion with a viable political alternative. He worked as the first Chairman and one of the first public representatives of the DUP and continued to sit in Stormont during the years of 1971-1972. However he had a disagreement with Ian Paisley and resigned from the DUP in 1974 although he remained on friendly terms with Paisley. Although he had a keen interest in politics he did not continue with a political career again.

Parliament of Northern Ireland
Preceded by
Henry Holmes
Member of Parliament for Belfast Shankill
1960 - 1972
Succeeded by
Position prorogued 1972
Parliament abolished 1973
Party political offices
Preceded by
New position
Chairman of the Democratic Unionist Party
Succeeded by
William Beattie


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