It was really the first time that the Troubles had come into our home and the awfulness of that moment stayed with me. Later, in 1985 Samuels brother Alex, a Chief Inspector in the RUC, was amongst nine Police Officers killed in a mortar attack on Newry police station. It was in part due to these events that I became politically aware from an early age. At the age of 16 I followed in the family tradition by becoming a member of the Orange Order, in which I was later to serve as an Assistant Grand Master for 3 years. Two years later I became involved in the ‘Young Unionist’ movement and went on to become Chairman of the Ulster Young Unionist Council. At the same time I also followed in my father’s footsteps and joined the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR), a regiment comprised mainly of part-time soldiers within the British Army who were dedicated to protecting the community from terrorism.
My involvement within the Ulster Unionist Party grew as I worked alongside two of the greatest names in Unionism in the 20th century. Between 1982 and 1984 I worked as Enoch Powell’s constituency agent, successfully spearheading Mr. Powell’s election campaigns of 1983 and 1986 when the South Down seat was retained despite the fact the constituency contained a natural ‘nationalist’ majority.