Irish Republican News · November 10, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Republican Assembly election candidates
Republican Assembly election candidates
The following are the candidates standing for Sinn Fein in the 26 November Assembly elections.

 

EAST ANTRIM

Councillor Oliver McMullan

A councillor for over ten years, McMullan has topped the poll in every election since he entered local politics. He was central to Sinn Fein's campaign to prevent the privatisation of the Causeway Heritage site and maintain it under the control of locally accountable politicians. Oliver currently serves on the Board of Governors of two schools and sits on the Community Rural Estates Partnership, which deals with housing issues in rural areas. He has an unparalleled record of delivering for the people he represents.

EAST BELFAST

Councillor Joe O'Donnell

Joe is a married man with three children and has lived all his life in East Belfast.

Working in the community sector for over 20 years, he is presently employed as an Economic Development Officer with the Short Strand Partnership. Joe's priorities include the creation of accessible job training schemes and targeting inward investment for East Belfast. He has played a leading role in trying to bring an end to attacks on the Short Strand.

EAST DERRY

Councillor Francie Brolly

Francie has been a political activist for over 30 years. He was a prominent member of the Civil Rights Movement and was present on Bloody Sunday. He was elected to Limavady Borough Council in 2001.

Francie is a renowned musician who, with his wife Ann, has played across the island of Ireland and beyond. He is deeply involved with a number of cultural organisations and has been active in the promotion of the Irish language. He is a long-standing member of the GAA.

Cliona O'Kane

A former student at Magee University, Cliona has been active in politics since joining Ogra Shinn Fein at the age of 16.

Cliona has worked as election manager in East Derry for the past three years.

Working full time in the Dungiven Sinn Fein advice centre, she is playing a key role in the party's development in the constituency.

FERMANAGH/SOUTH TYRONE

Michelle Gildernew MP/MLA

Michelle Gildernew is married to Jimmy and they have a young son. In 1996 Michelle stood for Sinn Fein in the Forum elections for Fermanagh/South Tyrone. In 1997 she was appointed Sinn Fein representative to London and was in the party's first delegation to Downing Street that December. She is a member of the party's Ard Chomhairle and has served on the Equality sub-committee and the Women's Forum.

She is currently party spokesperson on Housing.

She was elected MP for Fermanagh/South Tyrone in June 2001.

Councillor Gerry McHugh MLA

Married with two children, Gerry McHugh was instrumental in organising the H-Block campaigns as well as the elections for Bobby Sands and Owen Carron.

Gerry is a member of Fermanagh District Council and is an Assembly member for Fermanagh/South Tyrone. He is a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee and the Education Committee.

As party spokesperson on Agriculture and Rural affairs, Gerry has helped to defend the family farm unit through his membership of NIAPA.

Councillor Thomas O'Reilly

A councillor for the Erne East area, Thomas is a full-time youth and community activist who has been particularly active on the issue of youth service provision.

A member of the Western Education and Library Board, he has also been active in promoting the need for a particular focus on tourism in Fermanagh.

FOYLE

Mitchel McLaughlin MLA

Mitchel McLaughlin lives in the Bogside area of Derry City with his wife Mary-Lou and his three sons.

A member of the Party's Ard Chomhairle, Mitchel is Sinn Fein's National Chairperson. He became politically active in the Civil Rights Association in 1968 and was a leading member of the National H-Blocks Committee.

He was central in formulating Sinn Fein's current peace strategy and in the drawing up of their two peace documents, Scenario for Peace (1989) and Towards a Lasting Peace in Ireland (1992). He was elected to Derry City Council in 1985 and as an Assembly member for Foyle in the 1998 elections. He is currently party spokesperson on the Environment. He polled 119,384 votes in the 1999 European Union elections.

Councillor Mary Nelis MLA

Mary Nelis is a mother of nine children, community activist and Sinn Fein councillor. Born in the Bogside area of Derry City she has been active in community and women's groups throughout her life. She was also involved with the tenants' association, in the Civil Rights Campaigns and was founder member of the Derry Reading Workshop - a teachers' co-operative for adult education and literacy skills.

In 1985 she founded Dove House with young people as a resource centre. She also helped set up the Templemor Co-op in 1989 to give employment to local women.

She was elected as a Sinn Fein Councillor for the Northlands area of Derry in 1992 and as Assembly member for Foyle in 1998. She is party spokesperson on Human Rights.

Raymond McCartney

A former political prisoner, Raymond participated in the first Hunger Strike in 1980 and has been active since his release with ex-prisoners groups across Ireland, currently serving as the Chairperson of Coiste na nIarchimi.

Raymond is an active Sinn Fein member and has been central to the development of the Sinn Fein Peace Strategy.

LAGAN VALLEY

Councillor Paul Butler

Paul has been a serving Sinn Fein member of Lisburn City Council since 1997.

He is a member of the Council's Strategic Policy, Planning and Finance Committees and is also a member of the South Eastern Education and Library Board and the Lisburn Partnership. As party leader on Lisburn Council, Paul spearheaded Sinn Fein's support for City status and has continued to highlight the council's discriminatory practices as part of Sinn Fein's pledge to make Lisburn into a new, inclusive city.

MID-ULSTER

Martin McGuinness MP/MLA

Martin is married to Bernie and they have four children. He is Sinn Fein's Chief Negotiator and has played a major role in promoting and supporting the strategy of the current Peace Process.

In 1982, Martin was elected to the short-lived Stormont Assembly. In 1997 Martin was elected MP for the Mid-Ulster constituency. In 1998, he was elected to the Assembly for the same constituency. He became Minister for Education in the new Assembly in November 1999. He was re-elected as MP in 2001.

Martin has represented the party in high level discussions with political leaders in Europe as well as America.

Councillor Francie Molloy MLA

Francie Molloy was one of the first people in his area to join the Civil Rights Movement and has been involved in local and national political life ever since.

He is a member of Sinn Fein's Ard Chomhairle (National Executive) and the party's negotiations team.

Elected to the Assembly for Mid-Ulster in 1998, he was chairperson of the Finance and Personnel Committee and also was a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. He is currently chairperson of the Sinn Fein Equality Commission and the party spokesperson on Finance.

Francie is a leading member of Sinn Fein's International Department.

Geraldine Dougan

A 34 year-old mother of five, Geraldine comes from a strong republican family. She is a long time resident of Maghera and is active in the campaign for pre-school education provision. She is an avid GAA supporter.

Geraldine is also a member of the Sinn Fein Mid-Ulster Women's Forum.

Cora Groogan

Cora, from the Ballinascreen area is a 22-year-old Queens University History and Politics Graduate. She is also a Past Deputy President of Queens Student Union with a particular interest in combating Student Poverty. She was Chair of Queens Sinn Fein Cumann and Organiser of Ogra Shinn Fein in the Six Counties.

NEWRY/ARMAGH

Conor Murphy MLA

Conor Murphy lives in Camlough with his wife Catherine and young family. He is a graduate from both the University of Ulster and Queen's University.

He was first elected to Newry & Mourne District Council in 1989 and served as a Councillor for eight years. Elected as Assembly member for Newry/Armagh in 1998 Conor served as party spokesperson on Equality, and the Chip Whip and Chairperson of the Procedures Committee. Conor is party spokesperson on collusion and has been outspoken on the need for the complete demilitarisation of the Newry/Armagh.

Councillor Pat O'Rawe

A married mother of five children, Pat first stood for election in 2001 when she successfully contested the Armagh and City District Council elections. She was elected as the first Sinn Fein Mayor of Armagh in June.

She was a member of a key party delegation to Brussels earlier this year to hold discussions with senior EU officials on Sinn Fein's proposals for CAP reform.

Pat currently acts as Personal Assistant to Newry/Armagh MLA Pat McNamee.

Councillor Davy Hyland

Davy Hyland has just completed a very successful year as Chairperson of Newry and Mourne District Council.

A local schoolteacher, he has topped the poll since his election in 1993. Davy works closely with community associations throughout the area and has campaigned tirelessly for the retention of services at Daisy Hill Hospital. He is also leading the party's opposition to the introduction of water charges.

NORTH ANTRIM

Councillor Philip McGuigan

Philip McGuigan is 29 years old, married and has four children. A former student of Queens University, he is a keen supporter of Irish culture and his children are being educated through Irish. In his Gaelic football-playing days, Philip won many honours including two All-Ireland Hogan Cup medals.

Philip was elected to Ballymoney Council in 2001 with the highest vote of any of the 16 elected councillors. He was recently appointed the party's spokesperson on Truth Recovery and Victims.

NORTH BELFAST

Gerry Kelly MLA

Gerry is a leading member of the Sinn Fein negotiations team and party spokesperson on Policing and Criminal Justice. He has been to the forefront in securing economic investment for North Belfast and is working to achieve a resolution to the area's housing crisis.

He first became involved in politics during the civil rights campaign of the late `60s, and served lengthy prison terms in England and the H-Blocks. He was part of the famous escape from the latter in 1983.

Along with Martin McGuinness he took part in protracted secret negotiations with representatives of the British government from 1990 until 1993. He is the outgoing Assembly member for North Belfast.

Kathy Stanton

Kathy is a former Belfast City Councillor and works full time for Sinn Fein in North Belfast. A former political prisoner, she is very active in community development.

She is also involved in Community Restorative Justice programmes in North Belfast. Kathy has met with British and Irish Ministers in a bid to end sectarian violence at interfaces and is the party spokesperson on Equality.

NORTH DOWN

Maria George

Originally from Belfast, Maria is a well known Sinn Fein and community activist in the Killough area and is chairperson of the Killough Sinn Fein Cumann. She is the Sinn Fein representative for North Down and has a proven track record in fighting for the rights of community organisations and in community development.

SOUTH ANTRIM

Councillor Martin Meehan

Martin Meehan is a lifelong republican and a key advocate of the party's Peace Process. First arrested in October 1968, he spent many years in jail for republican activities. He is a member of Sinn Fein's Six-County Executive and is Chairperson of the Phoenix Drama Group.

Martin was elected to Antrim Borough Council in 2001 and sits on several of its key committees including the Strategy and Resources Committee, Public Services Committee, the Lower Bann and Lough Neagh Advisory Committee and the Environmental Committee.

He was the Sinn Fein candidate in the last Assembly election for South Antrim, and polled 4,160 votes, 9.4%, in the 2001 Westminster election in the constituency.

SOUTH BELFAST

Councillor Alex Maskey MLA

Alex Maskey is from Andersonstown in West Belfast and is married to Liz with two children. He was elected the first republican Mayor of Belfast in 2002. He was the first Sinn Fein Councillor to be elected to Belfast City Council when he won a by-election in 1984. He is a Sinn Fein Councillor for Laganbank in South Belfast and was elected as Assembly member for West Belfast in 1998, serving as the party's Chief Whip. He served on several Assembly committees including the Finance and Personnel Committee and is a member of the party Ard Chomhairle.

SOUTH DOWN

Councillor Eamonn McConvey

Eamonn McConvey is married to Carmel and they have three children. Eamonn works as a self-employed electrician.

From 1986-1996 he played a leading role in promoting the Irish language in Down District. He currently chairs a number of community organisations.

Elected as a Sinn Fein Councillor to Down District Council in 2001, Eamonn topped the poll in Downpatrick with over 1,100 votes. Eamonn has served as Council Group Leader on Down District Council has won a number of key positions on the Council.

Caitriona Ruane

Caitriona Ruane is a deeply committed human rights and community activist, and is married with two daughters.

A fluent Spanish speaker and Gaelgeoir, she worked for a US-based aid foundation from 1983-'87 in Central America. She also worked full-time for Trocaire and was an international observer for the elections in South Africa that saw Nelson Mandela become President.

Caitriona has lobbied the UN and the EU on human rights in the North. From 1997-2001 she was the Director of th West Belfast Festival, Feile an Phobail, and a founder of the city's St Patrick's Day Parade.

In 2000 President Mary McAleese presented Caitriona with the Aisling Person of the Year Award.

More recently, Caitriona has been chairperson of the `Bring Them Home' campaign.

Councillor Willie Clarke

Willie Clarke is married to Paula, who has recently given birth to their daughter Tara. He was elected to serve on Down District Council in 2001 when he topped the poll. He is currently employed by an environmental/conservation organisation, which is working to preserve the natural beauty of the Mourne Mountains, and also sits on the project board of Down District Council. Recently he has spearheaded a local community initiative to tackle the rise in drug abuse in Newcastle.

STRANGFORD

Dermot Kennedy

Dermot Kennedy has been a member of Sinn Fein for more than 25 years. He has worked in the Policy Development section of the party and was involved in drawing up Sinn Fein's Education Policy. His background is in education and he worked as a College Lecturer for nine years. He left the teaching profession to go into business.

Chairperson of Strangford Sinn Fein for the past two years, Dermot is eager to provide local nationalists with a credible voice to speak on their behalf in the Assembly.

He is also keen to reach out and to work alongside unionists and fellow nationalists within Strangford to build relationships across the community.

UPPER BANN

Dr Dara O'Hagan MLA

Dara O'Hagan is from Lurgan and is a graduate of both the University of Ulster and Queen's University.

She is the Sinn Fein spokesperson on both the economy and equality. During the Assembly Dr O'Hagan was a member of the Assembly's influential Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee and several other committees. She is also one of the party's main spokespersons on the issue of Orange marches and has been to the forefront in demanding the end of the Orange Order siege of Garvaghy Road

Councillor John O'Dowd

Chair of Upper Bann Sinn Fein and a member of the party's Six County Executive, John is leader of the Sinn Fein group on Craigavon Council.

As well as acting as a Council Account Scrutineer, John is a member of the Policy and Resources Committee and several others. He is also active in community politics and is an advisor to the Community Association, and a school Governor.

WEST BELFAST

Bairbre de Brun MLA

Bairbre de Brun is the Sinn Fein spokesperson on equality and human rights. She was the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and an Assembly member for West Belfast. Bairbre is a fluent Irish speaker and an expert in human rights and equality issues.

She is a member of the Ard Chomhairle and of the Sinn Fein negotiating team and was elected as a Sinn Fein Assembly member for West Belfast in 1998. She was recently selected as the party's candidate to contest next year's European Union elections

Councillor Sue Ramsey MLA

Sue Ramsey is a Sinn Fein member of Lisburn Council. Formerly Chairperson of West Belfast Sinn Fein, Sue also works in a range of community activities including the Twinbrook Festival Committee.

She was elected as Assembly member for West Belfast in 1998 and was a member of the Health, Social Services and Public Safety Committee. She is the party spokesperson on health and children's issues

Gerry Adams MP/MLA

Gerry Adams has been president of the Sinn Fein party since 1983 and was elected MP for West Belfast that same year. He was re-elected in 1988,1997 and again in 2001. In 1998 he was elected to the Assembly.

Gerry is centrally involved in the ongoing development of the party as a radical alternative in Irish society.

He has travelled internationally to advance the Peace Process particularly in the United States, Britain and South Africa. Gerry Adams has published several books. His most recent book is Hope and History - Making Peace in Ireland.

Councillor Fra McCann

As Six-County Chairperson of Sinn Fein, Fra has played a leading role in the growth and political development of the party over many years.

While secretary of the Divis Residents Association, Fra played a central role in the successful campaign for the demolition of Divis Flats.

Fra was elected to Belfast City Council in 1987 and has held a seat on the Council ever since, serving as Chairperson of the Council's Community and Leisure Services Committee.

Councillor Michael Ferguson

Married with four children Michael Ferguson graduated from Queens University in 1989 and was elected to Lisburn Council in 1999.

Michael represents Sinn Fein on the All-Ireland body charged with administering European funding and also represents the party on the Regional Strategic Partnership Board.

He is also well known as a founder member of the West Belfast Safer Streets Campaign Group. Michael has a personal interest in environmental and horticultural issues and has won a number of awards for environmental improvement schemes.

WEST TYRONE

Councillor Barry McElduff MLA

Barry McElduff is married to Paula and is from County Tyrone. He is a graduate of Queens University in Belfast and has a keen interest in the Irish language and culture. He was elected to the Assembly for West Tyrone in 1998 and was a member of several committees in the last Assembly including the Education Committee and the Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee. He was also a member of the Irish British Inter-Parliamentary group. He is the party's spokesperson on culture, arts and leisure.

Pat Doherty MP/MLA

Pat Doherty is married to Mary and they have five children. He has been Sinn Fein Vice President since 1988.

He was elected as Assembly member for West Tyrone in the 1998 elections and was Chair of the Enterprise, Trade and Investment. In 2001 he was elected MP for West Tyrone. He is in charge of the party's Agriculture and Rural Development department.

Pat headed the Sinn Fein delegation to the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation, organised by the Dublin government following the IRA cessation of August 1994 and has met with senior politicians in both Washington DC and Brussels seeking support for the Irish peace process.

Councillor Brian McMahon

A community and Irish language activist, Brian was jailed in Long Kesh in the 1970s. He was elected to Strabane District Council in 2001, when he received 75% of the first preference votes. Brian has built up a reputation as a dedicated and hard working councillor in the Strabane area.

© 2003 Irish Republican News