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Paul Butler MLA

Assumed office 
7 March 2007
Preceded by Marietta Farrell

Born Lisburn, Ireland
Political party Sinn Féin
Website Sinn Féin

Paul Butler MLA (Irish: Pól de Buitléir[1]) is a republican politician in Ireland. He was elected in March 2007 to the Northern Ireland Assembly as a Sinn Féin member for Lagan Valley.[2][3]


Lisburn City Council

Paul Butler is the leader of the Sinn Féin group on Lisburn City Council. The party currently holds four seats on the council, making it the third party and the largest nationalist party. Butler has a served as a Councillor for Lisburn City Council since 1997 and is a member of their Strategic Policy, Planning and Finance Committees.[4][5] Butler has campaigned against discrimination on the council, culminating in the Irish Government sending a representative to witness proceedings. Nationalists claim that the unionist majority on the council has prevented nationalists from taking council positions. Butler campaigned for the town to gain city status.

Westminster elections

Butler stood in the UK general elections in 2001 and 2005 in the Lagan Valley constituency but was not elected.[6] In the 2005 general election, Sinn Féin became got the largest share of the vote by a nationalist party, overtaking the SDLP.

Assembly elections


Results of the election to the Northern Irish Assembly, Lagan Valley, 2003

Party Candidate 1st Pref Result
Ulster Unionist Jeffrey Donaldson 14,104 Elected
Democratic Unionist Edwin Poots 5,175 Elected
Alliance Seamus Close 4,408 Elected
Democratic Unionist Andrew Hunter 3,300 Not Elected
Sinn Féin Paul Butler 3,242 Not Elected
Social Democratic and Labour Patricia Lewsley* 3,133 Elected
Ulster Unionist Billy Bell 2,782 Elected
Independent Ivan Davis 2,223 Not elected
Ulster Unionist Norah Beare 1,508 Elected
Ulster Unionist Jim Kirkpatrick 675 Not elected
Conservative Joanne Johnston 395 Not elected
Progressive Unionist Andrew Park 212 Not elected
Workers Party Frances McCarthy 97 Not elected
  • Patricia Lewsley was appointed as Childrens Commissioner and was replaced as an MLA by Marietta Farrell

Results of the election to the Northern Irish Assembly, Lagan Valley, 2007

Butler became the first Sinn Féin member for Lagan Valley in the Northern Irish Assembly. He won the SDLP seat previously held by Patricia Lewsley and subsequently Marietta Farrell. Butler was the only nationalist elected in the six-seater constituency.

Party Candidate 1st Pref Result Count
Democratic Unionist Jeffrey Donaldson 9,793 Elected 1
Sinn Féin Paul Butler 5,098 Elected 6
Ulster Unionist Basil McCrea 4,031 Elected 7
Alliance Trevor Lunn 3,765 Elected 7
Democratic Unionist Jonathan Craig 3,471 Elected 8
Democratic Unionist Edwin Poots 3,457 Elected 9
Democratic Unionist Paul Given 3,377 Not elected 9
Social Democratic and Labour Marietta Farrell 2,839 Not elected 5
Ulster Unionist Billy Bell 2,599 Not elected 6
Ulster Unionist Ronnie Crawford 1,147 Not elected 4
Green Party Michael Rogan 922 Not elected 4
UK Unionist Robert McCartney 853 Not elected 3
Conservative Neil Johnston 387 Not elected 2
Workers Party John Magee 83 Not elected 2

In the Assembly

Butler currently sits as one of twenty seven Sinn Féin MLAs. On the 6th August 2009, Sinn Féin's Chief Whip in the Assembly, Caral Ni Chuilin announced a reshuffle of the Committee Chairs which saw Butler becoming Vice Chair of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee.

Involvement in the Troubles

At the age of 17, Butler shot dead a 50-year-old reserve Royal Ulster Constabulary officer. As a result he spent 15 years in jail.[7][8]

Notes and references

Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
Marietta Farrell
MLA for Lagan Valley
2007 -
Succeeded by


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