Buchanan, Alan Alexander (1907–84), Church of Ireland archbishop, was born 23 March 1907 at Fintona, Co. Tyrone, son of Hugh Buchanan, solicitor, and Louie Donaldson of London. Educated at Masonic Boys' School, Dublin, and TCD, he graduated in modern history (1928) and was later (1959) awarded a DD (jure dignitatis). Ordained deacon (1930) and priest (1931), he served in curacies in the diocese of Connor, including shipyard areas. He was enormously influenced by the writings of Archbishop William Temple and Geoffrey Studdert-Kennedy (‘Woodbine Willie’), and – his early ministry coinciding with times of economic depression and sectarian violence – showed notable compassion and courage. In 1942–5 he was a chaplain to the forces, served in Tunisia and Sicily, accompanied the Arnhem airborne landing (1944), and, remaining with the wounded, was captured there, staying a prisoner till the war ended. After the war he was rector of St Mary's, Belfast (Connor), and Bangor (Down). Elected bishop of Clogher (1958), he was openly critical of local authorities that exercised discriminatory housing policies. He was elected archbishop of Dublin 1969, becoming chairman (1970) of the church's ‘Role of the church’ committee, which concerned itself ‘with peace and with ensuring a stable and healthy society both in the north and south’ (G. O. Simms, Church of Ireland Gazette, 10 February 1984). He was among the first supporters of the ordination of women to the priesthood, speaking in its favour well before it became a live issue in the Church of Ireland. Buchanan retired in 1977 and died 4 February 1984. He married (1935) Audrey Kathryn Crone of Belfast; they had two daughters.
Church of Ireland Gazette, 10 Feb. 1984; J. B. Leslie, ‘Clogher clergy and parishes’; RCB records