Craig, William

William Craig (1924-2011) was a politician and solicitor.

Born in Cookstown, Tyrone, he was an RAF pilot during the Second World War and later studied at Queen’s University Belfast. He was elected to Stormont as a Unionist MP for Larne in 1960. As Minister for Home Affairs, he banned the civil rights march in Derry which went ahead anyway on 5 October 1968.

The marchers were baton-charged by the Royal Ulster Constabulary in a conflict that sparked off the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Craig was dismissed from his post in December 1968. He formed the unionist movement Ulster Vanguard in 1972. His political career ended in 1979 when he lost his Westminster seat to Peter Robinson.