9 May 2002 Edition
Profiles of Connaught/Ulster candidates
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD - Cavan/Monaghan
Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has been generally recognised as one of the hardest working TDs in Leinster House since his election in 1997. He has campaigned tirelessly for the retention, improvement and development of all hospital services in Counties Monaghan and Cavan.
If re-elected on this occasion, Caoimhghín will bring a wealth of experience to his position as TD. He has been a full-time elected representative since his election to Monaghan County Council in 1985; he served on Monaghan Urban District Council between 1994 and 1999 and now has five years experience as a Dáil deputy. He has striven to achieve the best results for citizens at local, regional and national level.
Throughout his term as TD for Cavan/Monaghan, Caoimhghín has been a central figure in Sinn Féin's work for a lasting peace. His re-election, together with a team of Sinn Féin TDs from other constituencies, will help to ensure the continued development of the peace process towards an Ireland where all our people enjoy a society based on cooperation and equality.
Ald. Sean MacManus - Sligo/Leitrim
Alderman Seán MacManus has been instrumental in drawing attention to the economic disadvantage of the North West. He has actively tried to reverse this disadvantage by bringing together the heads of councils on both sides of the border to draw up a long term strategy aimed at regenerating the region.
Sean, a member of Sinn Féin's ruling Ard Chomhairle and a senior member of the party's peace process negotiating team, is a member of Sligo Corporation and Sligo County Council. His son Chris, and Arthur Gibbons are also Sinn Féin members of Sligo Corporation. Seán was the Mayor of Sligo and his son Chris is currently Deputy Mayor.
Seán has been a member of Sinn Féin since 1976. He was elected to the Ard Comhairle in 1981 and served as National Chairperson of the party from 1984 to 1990. He played a central part in developing the party's current peace strategy and was instrumental in developing its local government policy.
He has been an important member of several delegations in meetings with British Cabinet ministers, including with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street. Sean participated in the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation, which was organised by the Irish Government following the IRA cessation of August 1994.
Vincent Wood - Mayo
Vincent Wood, his partner Patricia and their son Cian live in Clogher, Claremorris, County Mayo. He has lived in Mayo since his release from prison in 1998 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
Vincent has been working to build Sinn Féin in Mayo and has been successful in raising the party's profile. He was Director of Elections for Mayo in the 1999 local elections and PRO for Seán MacManus during the European elections the same year.
He has been a member of Sinn Féin's Ard Chomhairle for the past two years and is on the Officer Board of Cúige Chonachta/Uladh. He is a member of the Council for the West's Action Committee on Corrib Gas and is an active campaigner for Western development.
As Sinn Féin's candidate for the next Leinster House elections in the volatile Mayo five-seater, Vincent will front the challenge to the two party set up that has characterised the area for decades.
Daniel Callanan - Galway West
Danny Callanan is married and has three children. A solicitor by profession, he has been involved in republican political activity for several years. As part of his work he is a voluntary solicitor with the Citizens Advice Bureau. He is a member of the Quirk Road Action Group and will make the issues of health, housing, planning of services and anti-racism the priority concerns of his campaign.
Danny lives with his family in the Knocknacarra area of Galway city. He was on the national executive of the Irish National Congress and is a member of the Peace and Neutrality Alliance. Danny also worked as a trade union official with MSF when he was employed with Friends First Insurance Company.
Seán Ac Coistealbha - Galway West
Seán Ac Coistealbha lives in An Spideál with his wife and three children. A graduate of University College Galway, he is employed as an education manager with Múintearas - a community based development initiative in the Gaeltacht regions. He has a long history of involvement with youth and education projects and is a well respected language activist and community worker.
He was instrumental in forming the Sinn Féin South Connemara cumann and is presently its chairperson.
He will prioritise planning, the Gaeltacht and local democracy in the coming months.
Cllr. Padraig MacLochlainn - Donegal North East
Buncrana Town Councillor Padraig MacLochlainn is a prominent young campaigner and community activist. A painter and decorator by trade, the 28-year-old has a proven track record of representation at a local, national and European level.
Incensed by the high levels of unemployment in his native county, he acted as the Donegal spokesperson for the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU) from 1997 until recently. He also served on the INOU National Executive from 1997 until 2000 as well as representing the organisation on the National Rural Development Forum.
Locally, he was a community director on the Inishowen Partnership Board for five years from 1996 to 2001. He is presently a board member of Action Inishowen.
He has spoken at a number of major European conferences in Vienna, Cologne, Helsinki and Barcelona on the issues of unemployment, regional neglect and rural poverty. Padraig has a diploma in Social Studies.
Pearse Doherty - Donegal South West
Pearse Doherty, a resident of Gweedore, is at 24 the youngest candidate in County Donegal. Tá Piaras, atá cáilithe mar innealtóir sibhialta, ina bhall de Sinn Féin ó 1994. Bhí sé ar dhuine de chomhbhunaitheoirí Ógra Shinn Féin, áit a raibh freagrachtaí aige mar oifigeach feachtais agus slógaidh ar an Choiste Feidhmiúcháin ó 1998 go 2001.
A civil engineer by profession, Pearse is a strong supporter of the Irish Language and an avid GAA supporter. A member of Sinn Féin since 1994, he has served on the national executive of Ógra Shinn Féin.
Pearse is a member of MIJAG, the national group that campaigns against the high cost of motor insurance and considers this issue to be central in the upcoming election.
Tom Dignam - Donegal South West
Tom Dignam lives in Ballbofey and is married with three children. Conraitheoir díonadóireachta agus cearpantóireachta is ea Tom atá ina bhall de Sinn Féin ón bhliain 1970. Le linn an ama sin, ghníomhaigh sé mar stiúrthóir toghchán d'iarrthóirí Sinn Féin i ndáilcheantair Iardheiscirt Dhún na nGall. A republican former prisoner, Tom now holds the position of chairperson of the Drumboe Martyrs Commemoration Committee.
Daithí Mac an Bhaird - Galway East
Daithí Mac An Bhaird, at 23 years of age, is one of the youngest candidates in this election. Originally from County Monaghan, Daithí has lived in County Galway for five years. He has a BA in Irish and History from NUI Galway, where he is studying for a Masters in Education through Irish. Daithi joined Sinn Féin in 1998.
Profiles of Sinn Féin Leinster candidates
Councillor Arthur Morgan - Louth
Arthur Morgan is married to Marian and is from Omeath. He is the Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment.
In the June 1999 European elections, Arthur polled 20,015 first-preference votes in the Leinster constituency. He was elected to Louth County Council in June 1999, taking the second of five seats in Dundalk/Carlingford with a vote over the quota on the first count (1,462 votes).
He is a member of the Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission, established under the Good Friday Agreement.
Arthur is a director in the family fish processing company. He is a founding member of the Cooley Environmental and Health Group, which campaigns against Sellafield and has investigated the extraordinary high incidence of cancer in the North Louth area.
He has led a Sinn Féin delegation to West Cumbria and the Welsh Assembly to highlight Irish concerns about Sellafield. He is also a member of various fishing groups and is chairperson of the Irish Seafood Wholesalers and Retailers Association. He is involved in the campaign to retain and upgrade essential services at Louth County Hospital.
He is a member of Sinn Féin's Ard Chomhairle and has been particularly active in the anti-incinerator campaign, having won a High Court battle to overturn a decision by the Louth County Council chair that could allow an incinerator in the Louth region.
Councillor Joe Reilly - Meath
Councillor Joe Reilly joined Sinn Féin in 1970 and has been a member of the party's Ard Chomhairle (National Executive) for over 20 years.
He was General Secretary of Sinn Féin when in 1988 the party first produced "Scenario for Peace". This document was the foundation stone for the current peace process initiated by Sinn Féin.
He has played a central role in the peace process as a member of Sinn Féin's negotiations team. At present, Joe is one of the party's National Treasurers and is Director of Cairde Sinn Féin.
In 1994, he was first elected to Navan Urban District Council. In 1999, he was re-elected to Navan UDC, topping the poll, and he also took a seat on Meath County Council for the first time.
As a Meath County Councillor, Joe Reilly has campaigned tirelessly on a range of issues affecting the people of the area, including housing, the environment and roads. He has also highlighted the fact that drug dealing and drug abuse are increasingly becoming a problem for the area and has called for proper drug education programmes and treatment facilities.
Councillor Brian Stanley - Laois/Offaly
Brian Stanley is Vice Chairperson of Portlaoise Town Council and a member of the Portlaoise area committee of Laois County Council. He is an active member of O'Moore Place residents' committee and a director of Portlaoise Community Action Project. He is also a member of Portlaoise swimming pool committee.
Brian holds a third level qualification in Adult and Community education and has a proven track record as a community worker and public representative.
He is Chairperson of Laois/Offaly Sinn Féin and has served on the party's Ard Comhairle. An active environmentalist, he has campaigned for sustainable waste management and the rejection of incineration as a means of waste disposal.
Councillor John Dwyer - Wexford
John is 37 years old and lives in New Ross with his partner Lorraine and family. A trade union official for 17 years, John was elected to New Ross Urban District Council in 1999.
As an elected representative he is involved in campaigns against incinerator proposals, dangerous phone masts, superdumps and low pay. John has consistently made representations to New Ross UDC, Wexford County Council, the Department of the Environment and the South Eastern Health Board on behalf of constituents from all over Wexford, highlighting the poor state of roads, urban and rural disadvantage, housing problems and bad planning.
He has been publicly promoting creative solutions to a wide range of problems such as getting the local council to purchase private developments for social housing needs and a council levy on derelict sites.
He is a member of New Ross UDC's Industrial Development Committee; a board member of 'Future New Ross'; the New Ross Tidy Towns PRO; a member of the Swimming Pool Committee and Vice Chair of Wexford Sinn Féin.
Mairead Keane - Wicklow
Mairead Keane has been involved in Sinn Féin since late 1981. She has also been involved in women's politics in Ireland and was head of the Sinn Féin Women's Department until 1993. She has also been directly involved in the development of our electoral strategy and was director of elections in the 1994 European elections.
She was Director of the Sinn Féin office in Washington DC from 1995 to 1998. On her return to Ireland, she took charge of the party's International Department. She led the National Committee established to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 1981 Hunger Strikes.
Mairead has a BA and holds a degree in social work.
Tom Kiernan - Carlow/Kilkenny
Tom Kiernan (49), a married father of two teenage children, lives in Kilkenny City. Tom was a house husband when his children were small and is now working as a contractor with Coillte. Tom has been actively involved in organising Sinn Féin in Kilkenny. Successive governments have failed to use the prosperity of the last ten years for the betterment of all sections of Irish society. Tom invites you to make the difference and vote Sinn Féin to implement our radical policies for a better Ireland.
Niamh Hogg - Westmeath
Niamh Hogg is married with two children. Originally from Dublin, Niamh moved to Westmeath ten years ago. She lived in Grange village, Mullingar, between 1995 and 1999, where she worked tirelessly with young people. She was involved with summer camps, young women's groups, drug awareness work and in the campaign for a local resource centre.
She currently lives in Kilpatrick, Collinstown, and is employed by Killucan parish as a FAS Community Employment Scheme supervisor. Prior to taking up this position, she worked for the Midland Regional Youth Services in Tullamore. She is also involved in the Women's Network Leadership Programme and is chairperson of Collinstown Community Games.