Tuesday 25 October 2016

The key figures who really hold sway over Sinn Féin

Published 22/12/2015 | 02:30

Bobby Storey
Bobby Storey

Like Slab, the key figures who really hold sway over Sinn Féin.

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MARTIN ‘DUCKSER’ LYNCH, formerly Gerry Adams’s chauffeur who has convictions for arms offences in the early 1980s. Aged in his mid fifties, he lives in a detached house near the M1 motorway in west Belfast. During the early stages of the peace process in Northern Ireland Lynch was featured in a number of newspaper articles after Sinn Féin discovered that the car he was using to drive Adams around had a bugging device attached by, it was claimed, the British Intelligence agency MI5.

BOBBY STOREY, chairman of the Ulster Cuige of Sinn Fein. He spent more than 20 years in prison in the North and Britain for his activities in the IRA. Although unknown to most Sinn Fein members in the Republic, it was Storey who sent out the memo to all elected representatives at the end of last year dictating how they should respond to press queries about the cover up of Mairia Cahill’s rape and that of other victims of IRA abusers.

SEAN ‘SPIKE’ MURRAY, a member of Sinn Féin’s national executive, he spent 12 years in jail for IRA offences and was known for years as a senior figure. In recent years he has emerged in Belfast for his involvement in ‘community’ matters and for his work with loyalists in reducing tensions at sectarian interfaces in west Belfast where he lives.

SEAN HUGHES, from Forkhill in south Armagh, is a key organisational figure in Sinn Fein but was for years regarded as a key ‘military’ figure. He was named by Peter Robinson in the House of Commons as a member of the IRA Army Council in 2002. He has no convictions for terrorist-related offences.

PADRAIG WILSON, another west Belfast man, was sentenced to 24 years for explosives offences in the early 1990s but released under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. During his time in the Maze prison, he was leader of the IRA prisoners.

BRIAN GILLEN, from the Falls Road in west Belfast, was another figure named under parliamentary privilege by Peter Robinson as a member of the IRA Army Council. He has long been regarded as a senior figure in the organisation in Belfast.

The ONLY KNOWN FIGURE FROM THE REPUBLIC who gardai believe to be at the top of the Republican Movement is a Sinn Féin politician who has no convictions for IRA-related or other offences. He has been at the top of the organisation for over 30 years and though he is very well known to gardai, he has rarely been referred to as even being a member of the IRA. He was given the job of deputising for Martin McGuinness in the IRA when McGuinness moved into mainstream political life in the North.

Irish Independent

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