Joseph Gerard (Joe) Hendron
(born 12 November 1932) is a Northern Ireland
politician, a member of the moderate Irish nationalist Social Democratic and Labour Party
He became the only nationalist MP to successfully defeat Sinn Féin's Gerry Adams in 1992, following in the tradition of former SDLP MP for the area, Gerry Fitt
- later Lord Fitt.
Hendron, also a local GP physician for 40 years, was first elected as a political representative of Belfast West
in 1975 to the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention
, in 1981 as an SDLP member of Belfast City Council
for the area and in 1982 to the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Hendron was the Member of Parliament
(MP) for Belfast West
between April 1992 and May 1997 in the UK Parliament in London. He had taken the seat from Sinn Féin
President Gerry Adams
at his third attempt with a majority of 1%. He attracted unprecedented cross-community support from Nationalists and Loyalists in the constituency.
Adams regained the seat at the next election in May 1997
due to boundary changes favouring his Sinn Féin party, which brought the Poleglass and Twinbrook electoral areas into West Belfast parliamentary seat. Doctor Hendron, along with his SDLP predecessor (and former party leader) Gerry Fitt, remains one of the few politicians in Northern Ireland who proved capable of crossing the sectarian divide in terms of electoral support.
In 1996 Hendron was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum and in 1998 to the newly reconvened Northern......