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John Alderdice

John Thomas Alderdice

John Thomas Alderdice Baron Alderdice (born 28 March 1955) is a Northern Ireland politician. He was Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly 1998–2004, leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland 1987–1998, and since 1996 has sat in the House of Lords as a Liberal Democrat.

Alderdice was born to the Rev. David Alderdice and Annie Margaret Helena Shields. He was educated at Ballymena Academy and the Queen’s University of Belfast (QUB). In 1977, he married Joan Hill, with whom he has two sons and one daughter. He worked part-time as a consultant psychiatrist in psychotherapy in the NHS from 1988 until he retired from psychiatric practice in 2010. He also lectured at Queen’s University’s Faculty of Medicine between 1991 and 1999.

Alderdice claims a distant relationship with John King, a nineteenth-century Australian explorer and the sole survivor of the Burke and Wills expedition.