Tribute Night for Pat McGinn and Turlough Murphy
A special tribute night has been held for outgoing Sinn Féin councillors Pat McGinn and Turlough Murphy in Camlough on Saturday 22nd February.
The event, which was attended by family and friends of the two men, was also used as an opportunity to introduce newly appointed councillors Roisín Mulgrew and Dáire Hughes.
Local republican activist Sean Hughes paid tribute on the night to the contribution made by both men saying that they had entered Newry & Mourne Council to advance the republican goals of a ‘society of equals and a united Ireland’.
Hughes said, “Pat McGinn was first elected in 2001, over the following 13 years his contribution to local politics has been immense. Pat has a natural talent for generating media coverage and his exploits to ensure his pictures were printed are legendary. That said Pat always put Sinn Féin first and he knew that his efforts were part of a much bigger picture.
“Pat was to the fore in many campaigns and he was often the champion of the underdog. He was an avid supporter of the Fairtrade movement, he worked constantly on the issue of the undocumented Irish living in America and he currently works with charities which help those who need it most.”
Describing Turlough Murphy’s contribution Sean Hughes said, “Turlough’s entry into elected politics was something of a baptism of fire when he agreed to stand in the farcical 2006 by election, demanded by unionist members of Newry Council.
“Sinn Féin’s only opponent on that day was pseudo victims’ campaigner and serial fantasist Willie Frazer. Mr Frazer received a very clear message from the people of South Armagh when he polled only 1,427 votes, despite the backing of the DUP and UUP locally, compared to the 4,092 secured by Turlough to retain the seat.”
Continuing Mr Hughes offered words of encouragement to the new councillors saying; “Pat and Turlough will no doubt be missed on the Council but I am confident that our new candidates Roisin Mulgrew and Dáire Hughes have all of the necessary qualities, skills and attributes to bring our struggle forward during their tenure.
“In the council elections on 22nd May I have no doubt that Sinn Féin will return all of its candidates to the new Newry Mourne and Down Council. Dáire and Roisín can be sure that they have the support of the entire republican community behind them. The work starts now and I know that all Sinn Féin activists will give their best efforts to the upcoming campaign.”
Both Turlough Murphy and Pat McGinn and their respective partners Donna and Noreen were presented with tokens of appreciation on the night and both said a few reflective words on their period as councillors and on their backing for their replacement councillors.
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