|Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly|
for East Londonderry
25 June 1998 – 18 April 2014
|Preceded by||New Creation|
|Succeeded by||Claire Sugden|
|Born||23 February 1951|
Coleraine, Northern Ireland
|Died||18 April 2014 (aged 63)|
Coleraine, Northern Ireland
|Political party||Independent Unionist|
|UUP (until 2011)|
|Alma mater||University of Ulster|
David McClarty (23 February 1951 – 18 April 2014) was an Independent Unionist politician from Northern Ireland, who served as a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLA) for East Londonderry from 1998 to his death in 2014.
McClarty was from Coleraine and was educated at Coleraine Academical Institution and Magee College. McClarty was first elected to Coleraine Borough Council in 1989, and held the post of Mayor from 1993 to 1995.
Until 1 January 2011 he was an Ulster Unionist Party member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (1998–present) for East Londonderry and was the Ulster Unionist Party’s chief whip at the Assembly but since then, vowed to fight future elections as an independent. On 8 May 2007, he was elected as one of the three Deputy Speakers of the Assembly.
McClarty served on the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee and the Environment Committee in the Assembly from 1998 to 2002.
He was one of a number of high-profile Ulster Unionist moderates who left the party along with Harry Hamilton and Paula Bradshaw, both of whom joined the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, and Trevor Ringland, who joined the NI Conservatives.
McClarty appeared to dismiss speculation about switching to the Alliance by saying, "It has been suggested that, with my moderate views, I should go Alliance like Harry Hamilton in Upper Bann. But Alliance are lukewarm on the union, and I will be fighting as an Independent Unionist." He retained his seat in the Assembly in the 2011 election.
There was speculation that McClarty would rejoin the UUP after Mike Nesbitt was elected leader in March 2012. Following Tom Elliott's departure and Nesbitt's subsequent election, McClarty said "I still have an interest in the wellbeing of the party." He went on to indicate that, as a sign of respect for those who voted for him as an independent candidate, he would not rejoin the UUP before the next election.
In early 2013, McClarty was in talks with John McCallister and Basil McCrea, who were both elected as MLAs for the UUP but left the party in February 2013. The three were considering registering as an informal grouping within the Assembly. (McCallister and McCrea went on to form NI21 later in the year.)
McClarty died on 18 April 2014 following an illness. He had been suffering from cancer for some time beforehand.
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- Clarke, Liam (23 March 2012). "David McClarty may return to UUP if Mike Nesbitt elected leader". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
- McCallister and McCrea to sit in the ‘naughty seats’ Archived 21 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine, News Letter, Rebecca Black, 18 February 2013.
- "Oklahoma! is OK for Ballywillan Drama group". www.colerainetimes.co.uk.
- "Independent MLA David McClarty dies after illness". BBC News. 18 April 2014. Archived from the original on 30 June 2018. Retrieved 18 April 2014.