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Paul Berry, (born June 3, 1976) is a Northern Ireland unionist politician.

Berry was born in Craigavon, County Armagh, and brought up in Tandragee, where he was educated at local state schools and colleges, following which he was employed in the textile industry. He joined the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) at the age of 16, the same age at which he began gospel singing in churches in the North Armagh and Banbridge areas.

With his high profile as a singer, Berry was elected, aged 22, the youngest MLA in the first Northern Ireland Assembly as a DUP representative for the Newry and Armagh constituency in the 1998 election and was re-elected in the 2003 election.

He was elected to Armagh City and District Council in 2001, and re-elected in the 2005 elections.[1]

In the 2005 general election Berry was the DUP candidate for Newry and Armagh constituency. Just days before the election, the Sunday World newspaper claimed that Berry had met a man for a massage, with whom he had made initial contact via a gay chatroom, in a Belfast hotel room booked by Berry under a false name.[2] Berry claimed that he was seeking treatment for a sports injury, and said he was considering legal action against the paper. He was not elected and was the only DUP candidate to experience a fall in their share of the vote in favour of the Ulster Unionist Party.

Weeks later the DUP who, since 1977 have maintained a Christian fundamentalist stance on gay rights, and launched a campaign known as Save Ulster from Sodomy, suspended Berry from membership and commenced disciplinary proceedings.[3] Berry launched a legal challenge but in February 2006 dropped these proceedings and resigned from the party.[4]

An active member of the Orange Order, Berry was on the traditionalist, fundamentalist wing of the DUP. In the 2007 assembly election he stood as an Independent candidate, opposed to the DUP policy of implementing the St Andrews Agreement but failed to be elected.[5]

Berry continues to sing Gospel professionally, and has released three compilations. He is married to Lorna with no children.

Berry now works in Tandragee and fronts a local estate agents.


Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
New creation
MLA for Newry and Armagh
1998 - 2007
Succeeded by
William Irwin

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