Seán Lynch (politician)

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Seán Lynch
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Fermanagh & South Tyrone
Assumed office
7 May 2011
Preceded by Gerry McHugh
Councillor on Fermanagh District Council
In office
10 May 2011 – 11 September 2011
Preceded by Pat Cox[1]
Succeeded by Tommy Maguire [2]
Constituency Enniskillen Electoral Area
Personal details
Born (1954-01-11) 11 January 1954 (age 62)
Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh
Nationality Irish
Political party Sinn Féin
Profession Politician
Known for Officer Commanding Provisional IRA prisoners in Long Kesh
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Official Website

Seán Lynch MLA (Irish: Seán Ó Loingsigh; born 11 January 1954) is an Irish republican Sinn Féin politician and a current MLA for the constituency of Fermanagh and South Tyrone. Lynch was a former Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) leader in the Maze Prison (known as Long Kesh by Irish republicans).[3]

Lynch previously served as Chairman of Sinn Féin in Fermanagh and as a senior member of the district policing partnership in the county.[4] Lynch previously stood for the Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency in the 2007 Northern Ireland Assembly election but was unsuccessful.[5][6][7][8][9] Lynch was a councillor on Fermanagh District Council prior to his election to the Northern Ireland Assembly.


Born in 1954 into a Roman Catholic farming family in rural County Fermanagh, Lynch is the eldest of 12 children and was raised near Lisnaskea.[10] Lynch currently lives in Lisnaskea. His sisters include Ruth Lynch, a Fermanagh District Council Sinn Féin councillor, and Mary Lynch, author of The Long Road Home.[11][12]

Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2007 and 2011[edit]

Lynch stood as a candidate in the 2007 Assembly Election. Lynch polled 4,704 votes and finished runner up. His running mates Michelle Gildernew and Gerry McHugh both obtained seats in the same election. Lynch was selected by Sinn Féin in Fermanagh and South Tyrone to stand again as a candidate in the 2011 Assembly Election on 5 May 2011. Lynch was elected on 7 May 2011. He was elected to Fermanagh District Council on 10 May 2011.[13][14]

In line with Sinn Féin's abstentionist policy Lynch resigned from his council seat to allow a party member to take his place on the council.[clarification needed] In September 2011, Tommy Maguire was co-opted onto Fermanagh District Council[15][16]

Provisional IRA membership[edit]

In April 1986 Lynch was seriously wounded and fellow IRA member Séamus McElwaine was shot dead when the SAS opened fire on them as they prepared to ambush a passing army patrol with a huge land mine the Lisnaskea to Rosslea road. Lynch was shot by the SAS and seriously wounded, after which he was arrested. After four months in Musgrave Park Hospital Military Wing, he was transferred to Crumlin Road Jail. In December of the same year he was sentenced at a Diplock Court to 25 years for possession of explosives and a rifle and transferred to the Maze Prison. He was released in October 1998 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement, having served almost half (12 years) of his 25-year sentence.[17]

Legal case against Northern Ireland Office[edit]

While still recovering from his injuries, Lynch claimed to have been forcibly removed by the riot squad team from one H-Block to another. He pursued legal action against the Northern Ireland Office and reportedly won a financial settlement.[10]

Séamus McElwaine Inquest[edit]

In January 1993 an inquest jury returned a verdict that McElwaine had been unlawfully killed. The jury ruled the SAS soldiers had opened fire without giving Séamus McElwaine a chance to surrender, and that he was actually shot dead five minutes after being wounded. The Director of Public Prosecutions requested a full report on the inquest from the RUC, however no one was prosecuted for McElwaine's death.[18][19][20]

Political career following prison release[edit]

Since his release from prison Lynch has worked as a senior member for Sinn Féin and was on the officer board of what was then the Sinn Féin Six-County Cúige and subsequently as a Six-County representative on the party’s ruling Ard Chomhairle.[10]

Lynch was director of elections for Michelle Gildernew when she won the Westminster seat of Fermanagh and South Tyrone for the party in 2005.[21] Lynch also sits on Fermanagh District Policing Partnership.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin: Sinn Féin monitor Enniskillen Loyalist Band Parade". 2011-09-26. Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  3. ^ "Ex-IRa leader takes up policing role". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
  4. ^ "DPP appointees named to oversee police - Belfast Newsletter". 2008-03-31. Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  5. ^ "CAIN: Issue: Politics: Elections: Assembly Election (NI) Wednesday 7 March 2007". Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  6. ^ "CAIN: Politics: Elections: List of Candidates to the Northern Ireland Assembly Election Wednesday 7 March 2007". Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 15, 2010. Retrieved January 22, 2011. 
  8. ^ Dr Nicholas Whyte (2010-03-14). "Fermanagh and South Tyrone 2007". Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  9. ^ "BBC NEWS, Election 2007, Fermanagh & South Tyrone". BBC News. 
  10. ^ a b c "News". An Phoblacht. 2016-05-16. Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  11. ^ "One girl's long journey back from trauma (From Impartial Reporter)". Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  12. ^ "Londubh Books | The Long Road Home". 2010-09-10. Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  13. ^ [1][dead link]
  14. ^ "Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin: Sean Lynch MLA". Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2011. 
  16. ^ "The Electoral Office of Northern Ireland". EONI. Retrieved 2016-05-20. 
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved January 22, 2011. 
  18. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 18 Jan 1993". House of Commons. 18 January 1993. Retrieved 15 April 2007. 
  19. ^ "United Kingdom/Northern Ireland Human Rights, 1993". U.S. Department of State. 31 January 1994. Retrieved 15 April 2007. 
  20. ^ "Amnesty International Report 1994 - United Kingdom". United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Retrieved 6 August 2010. 
  21. ^ "SF's Michelle Gildernew retains Fermanagh after dramatic recount". Retrieved 15 May 2016. 
Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
Gerry McHugh
MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone