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Owen Gerard Carron (born February 1953) is an Irish republican activist and the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

Carron is the nephew of former Nationalist Party politician John Carron.

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 after. 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. During his time in the political arena, he became known for always appearing in a suit and tie, unusual among Republican activists at the time.

Carron never made a secret of his support for Sinn Féin, and by 1982 he was regarded as a Sinn Féin MP. Confirmation came when he was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in October 1982 as a Sinn Féin candidate. In the 1983 UK general election, Carron stood again, this time officially as a Sinn Féin candidate, but lost the seat to the Ken Maginnis of the Ulster Unionist Party.

Arrests in the United States and the Republic Of Ireland

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.

In 1986, an AK47 rifle was found in a car in which Carron was travelling. He was charged, but granted bail to contest the Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election, 1986. He lost the election, skipped bail and moved to County Leitrimmarker in the Republic of Irelandmarker. He was arrested in 1988 in the Republic and held in custody for two and a half years while unsuccessful extradition procedures initiated by the UK took place. 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 his release, he worked as a builder before becoming a teacher in 1995, and later became the principal of the Ballinamoremarker National School.

In 2002, Carron's name was reported as having been submitted to the British Government by Sinn Féin on a list of IRA members to be granted amnesties.

References

  1. Liam Clarke, Broadening the Battlefield



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