Irvine PeopleAndrew "Sandy" Irvine 1902-1924
One of the mountaineers (the other being George Mallory) who attempted to make a first ascent of Mount Everest in 1924. He was born in Birkenhead, England on 8 April 1902, to a family with strong Scottish and Welsh roots. He was a keen sportsman and excelled at rowing, and was a member of the crew which won the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race in 1923.
Irvine was compassionate, expressive, shy and creative. During the First World War, whilst still a schoolboy, he submitted to the War Office a design for an interrupter gear which would allow a machine gun to fire from a propeller plane without damaging the blades.
The ascent of Everest took place in early June, and the last day that the climbers were seen was 8 June 1924. Keen-sighted expedition colleague Noel Odell reported seeing them at 12.50 p.m. ascending one of the major "steps" on the ridge and "going strongly for the top", but no evidence thus far has proved conclusively that they reached the summit. They never returned to high camp and died somewhere high on the mountain. It is still uncertain if they ever reached the summit, and Irvine's body has never been recovered.
In 1975, a Chinese climber named Wang Hongbao reported seeing the body of an "old English dead" near the summit. Tragically, he was killed in an avalanche a day later, before the location could be precisely fixed. The ghost of a climber has allegedly been seen by other climbers, two of whom (Dougal Haston and Doug Scott) in 1975 claimed to have shared a snow hole with the ghost during their climb. Some who have seen him believe that the ghost is Irvine's.
Alexander Andrew Mackay Irvine, Baron Irvine of Lairg, PC, QC (born 1940)
British lawyer and political figure who served as Lord Chancellor under his former pupil barrister Tony Blair. Born in Inverness, he studied Scottish law at the University of Glasgow and English law at Christ's College, Cambridge. In the late 1960s Donald Dewar's wife Alison left him for Irvine and the two men remained unreconciled even though they were later to serve in the same Cabinet. He became a QC in 1978 and head of chambers in 1981.
He was a legal adviser to the Labour Party through the 1980s, which included advice on how to expel members of the Militant Tendency, and he was given a life peerage in 1987. In addition to his traditional role of supervising the legal system, in 2001 he gained responsibility for a wide range of constitutional issues including human rights and freedom of information. This was interpreted as a move away from a strong freedom of information law, as Irvine was thought not to be a firm believer in the concept. Following his retirement in June 2003, his successor was named as Lord Falconer of Thoroton.
Andy Irvine (b.1951)
President of the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU), and a former Scottish international rugby player. Andy was born in Edinburgh, on September 16, 1951 and was educated at George Heriot's School in the city. From there he went on to Edinburgh University. After graduation he followed a career in chartered surveying and now is on leave from the Edinburgh property firm Jones Lang LaSalle while he is president of the SRU. As Full back for Scotland, he won 51 caps, 1972-82. He also earned British Lions caps versus South Africa (1974), New Zealand (1977) and South Africa (1980).
Andy vies with Gavin Hastings for the title of Scotland's greatest ever fullback, with incisive running at a blistering pace from the back his trade mark. In fact most polls over the last 20 years have voted Irvine Scotland's greatest player. Irvine was a legendary player of genius and genuine world class who inspired his team mates. He is in the International Rugby Hall of Fame.
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