Pamela Powell

THE death has occurred in London of Pamela Powell, the widow of former South Down MP, Enoch Powell.

Aged 91, Mrs Powell was fiercely loyal to her husband even when friends deserted the controversial politician following his infamous ‘rivers of blood’ speech on immigration in 1968. The speech led to his dismissal from the Conservative front bench and in 1974 he left the Conservative Party in opposition to UK membership of the Common Market.

His resignation led to him moving to Northern Ireland where he became the Ulster Unionist MP for South Down, a position he was to retain until 1987 when he was defeated by the SDLP’s Eddie McGrady.

Born in Liverpool in 1926, the daughter of a colonel in the Indian Army, Pamela Wilson married Powell in 1952 and as her husband’s career flourished, she through herself into raising their two daughters, Susan and Jennifer.

Powell firmly believed in living within his constituency and moved with his wife to Ballynahinch in the early 1980s after boundary changes removed his then Loughbrickland home from South Down. 

Mrs Powell was said to have been undaunted by any dangers posed by the IRA at what was a very dangerous period in the province.

While she was to admit that she wished her husband had not embroiled the family in his many controversies, there is no doubt the couple enjoyed a strong marriage.