John Laird (58), has
been Chairman of the Ulster-Scots Agency, an all-Ireland government
funded agency responsible for the development of the Ulster-Scots
language and culture, since 1999.
He sits as a
cross-bencher in the House of Lords which he attends frequently and is
popular with members of both Houses.
background is as a senior public affairs consultant and Chairman of
his own business, John Laird Public Relations. Lord Laird started his
company in 1976 which has grown to be the longest established and one
of the biggest in Northern Ireland. He is also visiting Professor of
Public Relations at the University of Ulster and a Fellow of the
Institute of Public Relations.
Lord Laird has had a
varied career spanning several areas. Educated at Royal Belfast
Academical Institution, his initial career was in banking.
In 1970, following the
death of his father Dr. Norman Laird OBE MP, John was elected for his
St Anne’s Seat in the House of Commons.
Lord Laird has many
interests and is a tireless advocate of the Ulster-Scots language and
culture and is a great supporter of transport developments in Northern
He is well known as the
creator of a range of transport videos about trolleybuses and railways
in the 1960’s. Included amongst John’s published titles are, ‘Twilight
of Steam in Ulster’, ‘Swansong of Stream in Ulster’, and ‘Trolleybus
Days in Belfast’, ‘Waterloo Sunset’ and, ‘Rails on the Isle of Wight’.
He is a Board member of
the Ulster Orchestra and of the Board of Governors of RBAI.
Lord Laird is married
to Lady Carol and they have two grown up children, Alison and David.