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SELECT pays tribute to Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan, praising his ‘wisdom, experience and friendship’

Posted: 4th September 2020

One of Scotland’s largest and most influential trade associations has paid tribute to Lord Martin O’Neill, the long-serving MP and social justice champion who passed away last week (August 26) aged 75.

Baron O’Neill of Clackmannan was the president of the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group and worked closely with SELECT, the body which speaks for the electrotechnical industry in Scotland.

The Labour politician held high office as Shadow Defence Secretary under Neil Kinnock and later Chaired the Trade and Industry Select Committee and the Scottish Affairs Select Committee while representing seats in Clackmannan constituencies. He was elevated to the Lords in 2005.

Alan Wilson, Managing Director of SELECT, said: “Martin O’Neill was a man who devoted himself tirelessly and selflessly to public life, and whose intelligence and commitment to the causes he championed gained him recognition at the highest levels.

“He was also a warm and caring man and was very highly regarded by staff and members at SELECT, with whom he dealt in his capacity as President of the SEC Group. He was one of the good guys, and his wisdom, experience and friendship will be sorely missed.”

Martin O’Neill went to Trinity Academy in Edinburgh and then on to Heriot Watt University and Moray House College of Education. After a first job as an insurance clerk with Scottish Widows, he became an assistant examiner in the Estate Duty Office of Scotland.

He then turned to teaching, first in modern studies in schools in Edinburgh then as a social science tutor for the Open University. He was active in Scottish student politics and was elected to Parliament in 1979, serving in Westminster for 26 years.

Lord O’Neill was a lifelong Hibs supporter and a director of the club. He leaves a wife, Elaine and two sons.

For more information, please contact Iain Mason, Director of Communications at SELECT, the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland, The Walled Garden, Bush Estate, Midlothian EH26 0SB. T:  0131 445 5577. F: 0131 445 5548. E: W:



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