CIMS Branches Visit Holywood on 4 Oct 2011
  The Life and Times of Lady Sylvia Hermon MP  


  Lady Hermon addresses members  
  Lady Hermon addresses CIMS members   
  Group photocall  

Six members of St John's Men's Society visited Holywood Branch on 4 October 2011 for an evening with Lady Sylvia Hermon MP when she told us her life story.

She told how she was one of three sisters raised on a small farm in Co Tyrone by their devout Presbyterian father Robert Paisley after the death of their mother in a drowning accident. After school Sylvia studied Law at . After graduating in Law from  Aberystwyth University in 1977 she started work as a Lecturer in Law in Queen's University specialising in Human Rights and European and International Law.

This was a period of conflict in Northern Ireland and the Chief Constable, Jack Hermon, instructed that women officers would not be armed as many of their male colleagues had been killed.  Law Lecturer, Sylvia Paisley, felt it was blatant discrimination against women under Human Rights and European Law, and sent a scathing article on this perceived discrimination to the Chief Constable.  To her surprise she was invited to his office where she was shown documents revealing it to have been a Government decision, hence rendering her article as rubbish.

The Chief Constable's wife had just died from Cancer so Sylvia Paisley sent him a ticket for the Arts Theatre. This eventually led to her becoming Mrs Jack Hermon. Her career in politics began when she stood in a General Election in 2001 as a Unionist, however when they joined with the Conservatives she separated and maintained her seat as an Independent.

After a long enthralling talk members asked Lady Sylvia about her views on Ian Paisley and Tony Blair. It was an evening covering everything from simple rural family life to Affairs of State. 


Dr Roddy Evans (CIMS PRO ), Revd Roger Elks (Vicar of Holywood), Lady Sylvia Hermon MP,

Tommy Holmes ( Holywood Branch Chairman), Arthur Macartney (CIMS Lay Hon Sec)

Tea time

Members enjoying refreshments kindly

 provided by the ladies of the parish