in North Belfast on 9th July 1950 Alban Maginness was educated in
St Malachy's, Belfast and the University of Ulster at Coleraine.
He read for the Northern Ireland Bar at Queen's University Belfast,
and was called to the Northern Ireland Bar Michaelmas in 1976 and
the Bar of Ireland Michaelmas in 1984. In 2007 he completed a Masters
in Human Rights Law from Queens University, Belfast.
at university he became involved in the non-violent protests organised
by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and participated
in the Civil Rights March in Derry on 30th January 1972. Maginness
became increasingly involved in politics and became a member of
the Social Democratic and Labour Party in 1972.
was elected as a member of Belfast City Council in 1985 and has
been re-elected in every election since. In 1997 Alban was elected
as the first Nationalist Lord Mayor in the history of Belfast and
throughout his year in office pioneered a spirit of partnership
politics on Belfast City Council.
was Chairperson of the SDLP from 1985-1991. He was a party candidate
for the 1992, 1997, 2001 and 2005 Westminster elections, coming
runner up. He was elected to the Inter-Party Talks in 1996 and was
also a party delegate to the Brooke Talks in 1992 and to the Forum
for Peace and Reconciliation in Dublin. He was elected to Northern
Ireland Assembly in June 1998 and was successfully re-elected in
November 2003 and March 2007.
the first Assembly Alban held the position of Chair of the Assembly's
Regional Development Committee, which was responsible for; transport
planning, public transport, roads, rail, ports and airports, city
visioning, water, strategic planning. He was also Chair of the Ad
Hoc Committee on the Proceeds of Crime Bill.
the 2007 Assembly election Alban served on the Social Development
committee and was also a member of the influential Assembly Commission.
He is currently the Chair of the SDLP Assembly group. After the
2009 SDLP reshuffle Alban was appointed to the Chair of the Enterprise,
Trade, and Investment committee. Alban is the SDLP Spokesperson
on Justice and was the SDLP delegate to the Bill of Rights Forum.
Alban is also a member of the Committee on the Administration of
has a keen interest in European affairs and was a delegate to the
Committee of the Regions and he is currently a member of the Special
Observer Pillar of the National Forum on Europe. In 2009 Alban was
the SDLP candidate for the European election and narrowly lost out
on winning a seat.
his political career Alban was known for his trademark moustache
but decided to shave it off in order to raise money for Children
In Need, raising almost £2,000 for the charity in the