Profile - Lord-Lieutenant
Mrs Alison Millar was appointed as Lord-Lieutenant of County Londonderry by Her Majesty the Queen on the 17th May 2018 succeeding Sir Denis Desmond KCVO CBE when he retired in early May 2018 after 18 years of service in the role. Alison had been one of his Deputy Lieutenants since 2009. On her appointment she has started to gradually increase the number of Deputy Lieutenants to help develop the service they carry out in the County. Mrs Stella Burnside, as Vice Lord-Lieutenant to Sir Denis, stays in that role where her experience is of great benefit. For anyone meeting Alison it is apparent that she has an in-depth understanding of the County, and is an intelligent, articulate person and makes for an excellent representative for Her Majesty in this County, across Ulster and the UK.
Alison has lived and worked in the Coleraine area for over 40 years. She was born in Banbridge and as her father worked in the Post Office administration it meant moving towns four times throughout the Province before she was 10 years old. During that time she attended 5 different schools – the final one being Omagh Academy where she spent her most formative years. This early history gave her an independent approach to life.
She studied Law at Queens in Belfast, graduating in 1974. She gained a reputation in local government and commercial law with the family firm of Solicitors Macaulay Wray in Coleraine (formerly Wray & Baxter). She retired out of practice in 2017. She does continue part time in judicial work.
Over the years she has worked with and supported organisations in education and local government, not least as a special legal advisor in the governance of the now University of Ulster during the 1980’s and early 1990’s and the former Coleraine Borough Council from 1978 to 2015. She was much involved in charity fundraising in the areas of education, health and sport.
She is married to Alan, a civil engineer by training and now a farmer, and they have two children; Jane who followed her mother in to law practice and John who is an equine vet in North Yorkshire. Alison has been a keen horsewoman since her early teens and she has served over the years with the Turf Club in Ireland and The Irish National Hunt Steeple Chase Committee at the Curragh. She serves on the Licensing Committee of the Irish Horse Racing Regulatory Board and is Deputy Chairwoman of Acting Stewards at Downpatrick Race Course. She has been a long time member of the Route Hunt. She is also a playing member of the Ladies Branch of The Royal Portrush Golf Club, one of the most beautiful places to play golf and which course is to host the Open this year.
It is Alison’s hope to develop the fine work of her predecessor, to whom she refers to as the “Lord-Lieutenant Emeritus”. She desires that the whole County, particularly the young, may understand the remarkably beneficial and influential work of the Monarchy and the role that Her Majesty has carried out with grace and dignity for almost 7 decades.
Photo courtesy of Davis Photography