Owen Carron

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Owen Carron
Member of Parliament
for Fermanagh and South Tyrone
In office
20 August 1981 – 9 June 1983
Preceded by Bobby Sands
Succeeded by Ken Maginnis
Majority 2,230 (3.5%)
Personal details
Born (1953-02-09) 9 February 1953 (age 64)
Erne Hospital, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Anti H-Block
Sinn Féin
Occupation Teacher
Website Bobby Sands Trust

Owen Gerard Carron (born February 1953) is an Irish republican activist, who was Member of Parliament (MP) for Fermanagh and South Tyrone from 1981 to 1983.

Early life

Carron was born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. He qualified as a teacher in the 1970s. He is a nephew of late Nationalist Party politician John Carron.[1]

Political career

He became involved in Irish republican politics in the late 1970s through the Fermanagh Anti H-Block committee.[2]

Election agent for Bobby Sands

Carron was Bobby Sands' election agent for the April 1981 Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election. Sands, a Republican prisoner on hunger strike, won the election, but died soon afterward. Changes in election law with the passing of the Representation of the People Act 1981 made it impossible to nominate another prisoner, so Carron stood as the "Anti H-Block/Proxy Political Prisoner".

Election as MP

Carron was elected in the August by-election with an increased majority but with fewer votes, becoming the youngest MP at the time. In line with most other Irish republicans elected to the British Parliament, he did not take his seat. He never made a secret of his support for Sinn Féin; confirmation of this came when he was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in October 1982 as a Sinn Féin candidate. At the 1983 general election he stood again, this time officially for Sinn Féin, but owing to the nomination of a candidate by the Social Democratic and Labour Party, the nationalist vote in the constituency was seriously split, and Carron lost the seat to Ken Maginnis of the Ulster Unionist Party.[3]

Arrests in the United States and later life

Carron, along with Danny Morrison, was arrested on 21 January 1982 whilst attempting to enter the United States illegally from Canada by car. He was deported, and later both men were convicted on a charge of making false and fictitious statements to American immigration officials.[4]

In 1986, an AK47 rifle was found in a car in which Carron was travelling. He was charged, but granted bail to contest the 1986 Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election. He lost the election, skipped bail and moved to County Leitrim in the Republic of Ireland.[5] He was arrested in 1988 in the Republic, and held in custody for two-and-a-half years while extradition procedures initiated by the British government took place. These procedures were unsuccessful when it was found by the Irish Supreme Court that possession of an automatic rifle constituted a 'political offence', thus prohibiting his extradition under Irish law. Following Carron's release he worked as a builder before returning to teaching in 1995, and later became the principal of Carrigallen National School.[6]

In 2002, his name was reported as having been submitted to the British government by Sinn Féin on a list of IRA members to be granted amnesties.[7]

He was director of elections for Councillor Martin Kenny, the Sinn Féin candidate in the Roscommon–South Leitrim constituency during the 2007 Irish general election.[8]

References

  1. ^ Liam Clarke, Broadening the Battlefield
  2. ^ http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/othelem/people/biography/cpeople.htm
  3. ^ Fermanagh and South Tyrone election results 1983-1992, ARK, accessed 28 April 2012
  4. ^ "2 Irish Activists Convicted by Jury". New York Times. 9 November 1983. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  5. ^ Andy McSmith (10 November 2005). "Bill offers amnesty to IRA fugitives". The Independent. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  6. ^ "Owen Carron: it's time for me to come home". Impartial Reporter. 17 August 2000. Archived from the original on 22 October 2006. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 
  7. ^ Henry McDonald (20 January 2002). "Fury as IRA fugitives win amnesty". The Observer. Retrieved 2007-03-03. 
  8. ^ http://www.anphoblacht.com/news/detail/18559
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Bobby Sands
Member of Parliament for Fermanagh and South Tyrone
1981 – 1983
Succeeded by
Ken Maginnis
Preceded by
Bobby Sands
Baby of the House
1981 – 1983
Succeeded by
Charles Kennedy
Northern Ireland Assembly (1982)
Preceded by
New creation
MPA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone
1982 - 1986
Succeeded by
Assembly abolished
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