Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin Dáil Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, the first Sinn Féin TD to take his seat in Leinster House following his election in 1997, has announced his decision to stand down from his elected role at the conclusion of the current Dáil term.
Addressing party councillors and activists from across Cavan and Monaghan in the Errigal Hotel in Cootehill tonight, Wednesday 7th March, the long serving Teachta Dála and former Monaghan County Councillor, who is his party’s longest serving elected representative in this State with 33 years continuous service, stated that he was anxious to facilitate a younger generation of republican voices step forward and take up frontline and leadership roles.
Sinn Féin’s sole T.D. from 1997 to 2002, Deputy Ó Caoláin was appointed his party’s Dáil Leader in 2002, a position he held until 2011 when Gerry Adams, Sinn Féin’s then Party President, was elected for the neighbouring constituency of Louth.
A long time spokesperson on Health and Children issues, Deputy Ó Caoláin has been his party’s spokesperson on Disability Rights and Older People since the 2016 General Election. He contested unsuccessfully for the position of Ceann Comhairle in the current Dáil and was subsequently appointed Chairperson of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice and Equality, a position he continues to hold.
A Monaghan town native, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin is married to Briege and they have five children.
The Cootehill meeting was also addressed by Sinn Féin’s newly elected Party President Mary Lou McDonald T.D. who paid warm tribute to her long serving Dáil colleague and friend.