John Laird, Lord Laird of ArtigarvanMember of the House of Lords
Lord Laird is a former Member of the Stormont Parliament in Northern Ireland, born in 1944. He began his working life as an inspector and later a computer programmer with the Belfast Savings Bank (The BSB). The bank installed the first real time banking system outside the United States in August 1970. He entered Parliament on the sudden death of his father in 1970. He was aged 26. He continued working with the Bank until 1973. He subsequently sat in the Northern Ireland Convention, leaving in 1976 to form his own Public Relations Company. He remained active in politics and was elevated to the peerage in 1999, taking the title of Lord Laird of Artigarvan, in the County of Tyrone. His autobiography and political memoirs, “A Struggle to be Heard” was published in 2010. He hosts the Annual Lorraine King Memorial Lecture in memory of another programmer who helped to found the disabled group in the Britsih Computer Society. He is married with one son and one daughter. He is one of the most active Peers in the House of Lords and is Chair of the UK Azerbaijan Society.