CITY OF BELFAST
CENTENARY OF THE SIGNING OF THE ULSTER COVENANT AND THE HOME RULE CRISIS
The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor, Alderman Gavin Robinson,
and the City Council
request the pleasure of the company of
Dr Ian Adamson OBE and Guest Mr Brian Ervine
at a Civic Dinner in the City Hall, Belfast
Thursday 20 September, 2012 at 7.30pm for 8.00pm
We attended with Liam Logan, Chairman of the Ullans Academy and Carol Walker, Director of the Somme Association, and sat with George Best’s sister, Barbara McNarry and her husband Norman. After dinner speeches were by The Lord Mayor. the First Minister Peter Robinson MLA and the historian Jonathan Bardon
Brian Ervine (born October 1951, Belfast) is a playwright,songwriter and teacher living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Northern Irish playwright St John Ervine (1883–1971) was a distant relative. In October 2010 he succeeded Dawn Purvis as the leader of the Progressive Unionist Party. She was at the function tonight. Brian is a founder member of the Ullans Academy
He was educated at Grosvenor Grammar School, Belfast, a contemporary of future soccer legend George Best. He studied at Stranmillis University College, graduating with a degree in (B.ed), and then at Queen’s University , Belfast, graduating with a degree in Theology (B.D.). He subsequently taught English and Religion at Orangefield High School in east Belfast. Alumni of Orangefield include Van Morrison, Brian Keenan and his brother David Ervine.
His play, Somme Day Mourning, tells the story of working class east Belfast men who gave their lives at the battle of The Somme in 1916. The play also features original music and lyrics written by Ervine.
In 2005, at a special ceili in the Great Hall of Stormont Parliament Building, hosted by Tommy Sands of Downtown Radio, David Ervine sang “Leaving Dalriada”, an emotive ballad written by Brian Ervine, about an exile who was ordered to leave the country by a gunman.
When his brother, David Ervine, leader of the Progressive Unionist Party, died in 2007, Brian stood unsuccessfully for the leadership of the party. He lost to Dawn Purvis. On 16 October 2010 he was elected leader of the PUP.
At David Ervine’s funeral, Brian was pictured in the international media standing next to his brother’s widow, Jeanette Ervine, while she was embraced by the president of Sinn Féin, Gerry Adams. In his address to mourners at the funeral, Brian Ervine said his brother was able to “translate the bloodstained tragic prose of violence and hatred to the poetry of peaceful co-existence . . . He had the guts and the courage to climb out of the traditional trenches, meet the enemy in no-man’s land and play ball with him.”