Lord Laird Of Artigarvan (John
Patron, Ulster-Scots Society Of America
John Laird (58), has been Chairman of the Ulster-Scots
Agency, an all-Ireland government funded agency
responsible for the development of the Ulster-Scots
language and culture, since 1999.
He sits as a cross-bencher in the House of Lords
which he attends frequently and is popular with
members of both Houses.
His professional background is as a senior public
affairs consultant and Chairman of his own business,
John Laird Public Relations. Lord Laird started
his company in 1976 which has grown to be the longest
established and one of the biggest in Northern
Ireland. He is also visiting Professor of Public
Relations at the University of Ulster and a Fellow
of the Institute of Public Relations.
Lord Laird has had a varied career spanning several
areas. Educated at Royal Belfast Academical Institution,
his initial career was in banking.
In 1970, following the death of his father Dr.
Norman Laird OBE MP, John was elected for his St
Anne’s Seat in the House of Commons.
Lord Laird has many interests and is a tireless
advocate of the Ulster-Scots language and culture
and is a great supporter of transport developments
in Northern Ireland.
He is well known as the creator of a range of
transport videos about trolleybuses and railways
in the 1960’s. Included amongst John’s
published titles are, ‘Twilight of Steam
in Ulster’, ‘Swansong of Stream in
Ulster’, and ‘Trolleybus Days in Belfast’, ‘Waterloo
Sunset’ and, ‘Rails on the Isle of
He is a Board member of the Ulster Orchestra and
of the Board of Governors of RBAI.
Lord Laird is married to Lady Carol and they have
two grown up children, Alison and David.