Irish Republican News · May 3, 2012
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Bairbre de Brún resigns as MEP

Sinn Féin’s only member of the European Parliament, Six-County MEP Bairbre de Brún, has resigned.

Ms de Brún was the first Sinn Féin member to represent the occupied Six Counties in the European Parliament following her success in the 2004 European elections.

She went on to top the poll in 2009, the first time her party headed the poll in a Six-County election, but her level of engagement had declined recently.

At the beginning of March, it was stated that Ms de Brún had taken a leave of absence from politics due to ill health.

She had been on sick leave for a number of weeks at that stage.

Sinn Féin confirmed that Ms de Brún has submitted her resignation to the European Parliament but would remain a member of the party.

From Terenure in Dublin, Ms de Brún was a teacher by profession. A fluent Irish speaker and an expert in human rights and equality issues, she has served as a member of the party’s Ard Chomhairle [leadership] and also as an MLA [member of the Stormont Assembly in the North] where she was Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said the party would hold a convention shortly to select a new MEP.

“Bairbre de Brún has submitted her resignation as MEP to the European Parliament. Bairbre has taken this decision for personal reasons and I would ask that the media and others respect her privacy in this matter,” he said.

“I have worked closely with Bairbre for over 30 years in the leadership of Sinn Féin. She has served diligently and effectively in a variety of roles including head of our International Department, a Good Friday Agreement negotiator, an MLA for west Belfast, a Minister in the Executive and latterly as MEP for the Six Counties. She topped the poll in the 2009 European elections.

“While Bairbre has resigned from her current position in the European Parliament, she remains a senior figure within Sinn Féin.

“The party will now begin the task of selecting a new MEP. A convention will be held.

“I thank Bairbre for her work over many years and for her friendship and look forward to working with her in the future. Republicans everywhere I am sure will join me in extending best wishes.”

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© 2012 Irish Republican News