Seamus Lynch

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Seamus Lynch (born 1945) is a former Irish republican and socialist politician.

Born in North Belfast,[1] Lynch became a republican activist around the start of The Troubles, and sided with the Official wing of Sinn Féin in the split of 1970.[2] He was imprisoned from October 1971 until the following year.[1] He was a strong supporter of the Official IRA's ceasefire in 1972 and Official Sinn Féin's vocal socialism.[2] As a result, he became active in the Republican Clubs movement, and stood for the organisation in Belfast North at the Northern Ireland Assembly, 1973. He received only 1.7% of the first preference votes cast and was not elected. He stood again for the Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention, but his vote dropped to just 1.3%. He was elected to Belfast City Council in 1977, representing the G district, but lost his seat in 1981.[3]

Lynch next stood in the Westminster seat of Belfast North at the 1979 general election, increasing his vote to 4.5%, the best result for Republican Clubs in Northern Ireland, and at the Northern Ireland Assembly election, 1982, he increased his share to 7.1%.[4]

Workers' Party[edit]

In 1982, Republican Clubs was renamed the Workers' Party of Ireland and Lynch became its Northern Chairman and national Vice-President[2] He then stood in the 1983 general election, receiving 5.7% of the vote,[5] but did less well in the Northern Ireland-wide European Parliament election in 1984, taking only 1.3% and seventh position of eight candidates.[6] He was re-elected to Belfast City Council in 1985, representing Oldpark, and held his seat in 1989.

Lynch's best result in a Westminster election came when he took 11.8% of the vote in a three-way contest in the Belfast North by-election, 1986. At the following year's general election, he dropped back to 8.3%.[5] He also stood in the 1989 European election, placing eighth out of ten candidates.[7]

Democratic Left[edit]

In 1992, Lynch sided with the split from the Workers' Party which produced Democratic Left, and he became the new group's main figure in Northern Ireland.[8] Standing for the new organisation, at the 1992 UK general election his vote fell to 3.7%[5] and he lost his council seat the following year.[9] His last contest for the party was heading its North Belfast list for the Northern Ireland Assembly election in 1996, but the list took only 123 votes.[10] Democratic Left dissolved in 1998, its members invited to join the Labour Party but not permitted to organise in Northern Ireland.[11]

In 2003, Lynch was elected Chairman of the North Belfast sub-group of the Belfast District Policing Partnership.[12] He is a Public Affairs Officer with Age NI.


  1. ^ a b "Pain will linger in Ireland", Buffalo News, 21 May 1998
  2. ^ a b c Ian S. Wood, Crimes of Loyalty
  3. ^ Local Government Elections 1973-1981: Belfast, Northern Ireland Elections]
  4. ^ North Belfast 1973-82, Northern Ireland Elections
  5. ^ a b c North Belfast, 1983-1992, Northern Ireland Elections
  6. ^ The 1984 European election, Northern Ireland Elections
  7. ^ The 1989 European elections, Northern Ireland Elections
  8. ^ Oliver McGuckin, "Paul leads the charm offensive", Belfast Telegraph, 30 May 1996
  9. ^ Belfast City Council, 1993-2005, Northern Ireland Elections
  10. ^ 1996 Forum Elections: Candidates in North Belfast, Northern Ireland Elections
  11. ^ Steven King on Thursday, Steven King, Belfast Telegraph, 17 December 1998
  12. ^ Belfast police groups select leaders, Jonathan McCambridge, Belfast Telegraph ,17 April 2003
Party political offices
Preceded by
Malachy McGurran
Vice President of the Workers' Party
Succeeded by