Plaque unveiled to Ulster Unionist MP Sir Henry Wilson shot dead by IRA a century ago

A ceremony has taken place in the House of Commons in memory of Sir Henry Wilson, an Ulster Unionist MP who was murdered 100 years ago today.

He was shot dead by two IRA gunmen, just four months after becoming the MP for North Down.

He was a field marshal in the British Army and a security advisor for the newly-formed Northern Ireland government

However, he was shot dead in London in 1922. He was killed just four months after becoming MP for North Down His death was regarded as one of the key factors that led to civil war in Ireland. Tensions were high, Britain blamed the shooting on anti-treaty republicans.

"At that time, only three sitting MPs had ever been assassinated in the previous 110 years," said Queen's University historian Professor Marie Coleman.

"To Irish Republicans, he was a hate figure and he was someone who was completely and bitterly opposed to their agenda.

"It was a combination of Wilson's assassination and a subsequent kidnapping of a senior Irish army officer which finally snapped the patience of the provisional government and they bombarded the forecourts setting off the Irish Civil War a few days after Wilson's assissination.

Today, in a ceremony at Westminster Sir Henry Wilson was remembered, a century on, with a plaque being unveiled in memory of the 58-year-old. The North Antrim MP Ian Paisley said the family welcomed the move.

Ian Paisley at the ceremony in the House of Commons

"I was very grateful to be able to read out some comments that were given to me by the descendants of Sir Henry and they told me they were immensely proud of the fact this was at last being done, that their great great grandfather was an exceptional gentlemen and that at last, his memory is being properly honoured in the place he was elected to," said Mr Paisley.

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