Gerry MacLochlainn

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MacLochlainn in 2012

Gerry MacLochlainn (born 1954) is a Sinn Féin politician from Derry, Northern Ireland, where he was a councillor. He chaired several of the council's major committees including regional and cross border committees. His writings were widely circulated in Wales and several of his prison letters are held in the the National Library of Wales.[why?]

Early life[edit]

Born in Derry in 1954 as Gerard McLaughlin, MacLochlainn attended the Brow of the Hill Christian Brothers School and St Columb's College, both in Derry.[1]

Prison[edit]

In 1980, MacLochlainn was arrested and charged with conspiracy to cause explosions and possession of explosives. He was sentenced to six years in prison.[2]

Sinn Féin representative[edit]

A supporter of Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness,[3] MacLochlainn was appointed Sinn Féin representative to Britain[when?] for 14 years. He was in the first delegation to meet with the British Labour Party front bench[4] During this time[5] several ceasefires led to the Good Friday Agreement.

MacLochlainn was part of the campaign to free the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six.[6] He represented Sinn Féin at the Inaugural Meeting of the Kurdish Parliament in Exile in the Hague and addressed that conference alongside parliamentarians from around the world.[citation needed]

In 2011, the BBC quoted his condemnation of a bomb attack in Derry carried out by republican dissidents.[7]

Community leader[edit]

During his time in London, he worked for the Irish in Islington Project (funded by the Greater London Council and London Borough of Islington) and was one of the founders of the Roger Casement Irish Centre where he worked as a community development worker and later as the Centre's first director. He worked with the Migrant Training Company which provided training in Information Technology to members of various migrant communities in London, providing advice and guidance as well as housing.[citation needed]

Elected representative[edit]

A leading Sinn Féin Councillor in Derry, he is the party spokesperson on environmental matters and has been chair of the Environmental Services Committee, ERNACT (European Region Network for the Application of Communications Technology), and represents the City on the North West Regional Waste Management Committee.[citation needed]

A strong supporter of the Palestinian cause, MacLochlainn was one of the leaders of the campaign against the Israeli embargo of Gaza. He proposed and gained acceptance of a city policy[where?][when?] of a boycott of Israeli goods until an end to the embargo. On 26 May 2009, he crossed Rafah into the Gaza Strip with the Hope For Gaza convoy of medical aid. As deputy leader of the European Hope Convoy, MacLochlainn helped to deliver some 25 ambulances, a kidney dialysis machine, medicine and several wheel chairs.[8] In Gaza, he met with Ismail Haniya, Palestinian prime minister and leader of Hamas in Gaza.[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]