Gerry MacLochlainn

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MacLochlainn in 2012

Gerard "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 his wife's native Wales and several of his prison letters are held in the National Library of Wales.[why?][1]

Life[edit]

Born in Derry in 1954, MacLochlainn attended Brow of the Hill Christian Brothers School and St Columb's College, both in that city. 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]

As Sinn Féin's representative in London, he was at the centre of a controversy in December 1984 when he was a guest to the House of Commons of Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, along with another PIRA volunteer and former prisoner, Linda Quigley.[3] A decade later, he was in the first delegation to meet with the British Labour Party front bench in December 1994.[4]

MacLochlainn was part of the campaign to free the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six. 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.[5]

In 2011, he condemned a bomb attack in Derry carried out by dissident republicans.[6]

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.[7] He met with Ismail Haniya, Palestinian prime minister and leader of Hamas in Gaza.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Annual Report - National Library of Wales - National Library of Wales. Books.google.com. Retrieved 24 March 2016. 
  2. ^ Ellen Barr (23 April 2012). "A life in politics". Derry Journal. Retrieved 24 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "Jeremy Corbyn on IRA meeting · British Universities Film & Video Council". Bufvc.ac.uk. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "British Labour Party confirms having had talks with Sinn Fein". The Irish Times. 30 December 1994. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "MacLochlainn set for new challenges". Derry Journal. 16 March 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "Derry City centre bomb thrown into bank by attackers". BBC. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  7. ^ [1] Archived 25 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "News". An Phoblacht. Retrieved 24 March 2016.