18 November 2022 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Distinguished figures from the present and recent past of Sinn Féin came together at the Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan Town on Saturday night last to do honour to the former Cavan/Monaghan TD whose ground-breaking General Election success in 1997 paved the way for the party’s current ascendant political fortunes across the island. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, whose 35-year political career as a local and national public representative was preluded by his contribution as Director of Elections to the 1981 victory at the Cavan/Monaghan polls of H-Block hunger striker Kieran Doherty, was guest of honour at a testimonial dinner addressed by Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD and attended by scores of the party’s TDs, MPs, MEPs, MLAs, Senators and councillors, serving and retired.

The Sinn Féin candidate’s stunning 11,531 first preference votes which saw him elected as his party’s first TD of the modern era at the Cootehill count centre in the 1997 General Election was recalled by the party president as both a pivotal moment in Sinn Féin’s growth, and a watershed for Irish Republicanism. Deputy McDonald praised her former Leinster House colleague as an outstanding parliamentarian, “one of the greatest defenders of public healthcare we have ever seen” in his Health Spokesperson portfolio, prescient in his highlighting of the cervical cancer screening scandal and a tireless champion of women whose lives were devastated by being subjected…

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