Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Disability Rights and Older People
Assumed office
11 May 2016
Leader Gerry Adams
Preceded by position established
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
June 1997
Constituency Cavan–Monaghan
Personal details
Born (1953-09-18) 18 September 1953
Monaghan, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Sinn Féin
Spouse(s) Briege McGinn[1]
Children 5

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin ([ˈkiːvʲiːnʲ  ˈkiːlˠaːnʲ]; born 18 September 1953) is an Irish Sinn Féin politician. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cavan–Monaghan constituency since 1997 and was the parliamentary leader of Sinn Féin in Dáil Éireann from 1997 to 2011.[2]


Ó Caoláin was born in Monaghan in 1953.[3] He was educated at St. Mary's CBS, Monaghan.[1] He was a bank official with the Bank of Ireland in the 1970s, and worked in a number of towns, including Ballinasloe. He became a senior bank official but then left the bank to concentrate on politics. Ó Caoláin is married to Briege McGinn and they have four daughters and one son.[3]

Ó Caoláin underwent successful cardiac surgery early in 2007. On 19 June 2007, it was reported that he was rushed to hospital,[4] but he was released shortly thereafter and has since made a full recovery.

Political career

He has been active in republican squares since the 1970s. He was Director of Elections in the Anti H-Block campaign of 1981 when Kieran Doherty was elected as a TD for the Cavan–Monaghan constituency. Between 1982 and 1985 he was general manager of the republican newspaper An Phoblacht. Ó Caoláin's first political success came in 1985 when he was elected to Monaghan County Council as a Sinn Féin councillor. In 1989, loyalist paramilitaries attempted to kill him and another Sinn Féin councillor. At the 1984 and 1989 European Parliament elections he stood unsuccessfully in the Connacht–Ulster constituency.

Ó Caoláin represented Sinn Féin at the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation in Dublin in the mid-1990s and was also a member of the Sinn Féin negotiations team during the talks which led to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. At the 1997 general election he was elected to Dáil Éireann for the Cavan–Monaghan constituency, making him the first Sinn Féin TD elected since 1957 and the first Sinn Féin TD to take his seat at Dáil Éireann in Leinster House. He was subsequently re-elected at the 2002 general election and joined by four other Sinn Féin deputies. He was re-elected at the 2007 general election.[5] Ó Caoláin is currently Sinn Féin's spokesperson on Health and Children."[6] He accepts the average industrial wage and donates the remaining portion of his TD salary to his party.[7]


  1. 1 2 "Profile: Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin". Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  2. "Mr. Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  3. 1 2 "Profile of Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin". Sinn Féin party website. Retrieved 8 May 2008.
  4. "SF's O'Caolain rushed to hospital from Dáil office". 20 June 2007.
  5. "Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin". Retrieved 9 October 2009.
  6. Quote from the Sinn Féin website. Many Irish republicans use the term "Six Counties" to refer to Northern Ireland. See Alternative names for Northern Ireland.
  7. "Greens' top brass give up €46,000 of salary to party funds". Irish Independent. 9 March 2010.
Preceded by
Jimmy Leonard
(Fianna Fáil)
Sinn Féin Teachta Dála for Cavan–Monaghan
Party political offices
New office Parliamentary leader of Sinn Féin in Dáil Éireann
Succeeded by
Gerry Adams
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