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 66)
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 and who was Member of Parliament (MP) for Fermanagh and South Tyrone from 1981 to 1983.

Early life

He was born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. He qualified as a teacher in the 1970s. Carron is the nephew of former 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 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. Carron never made a secret of his support for Sinn Féin. Confirmation came when he was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in October 1982 for Sinn Féin. In the 1983 UK general election, Carron stood again, this time officially as a Sinn Féin candidate, but 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 Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election, 1986. 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 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 returning to teaching in 1995, and later became the principal of Carrigallen National School.[6]

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.[7]

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


  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Andy McSmith (10 November 2005). "Bill offers amnesty to IRA fugitives". The Independent. Retrieved 2007-03-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Owen Carron: it's time for me to come home". Impartial Reporter. 17 August 2000. Retrieved 2007-05-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  7. Henry McDonald (20 January 2002). "Fury as IRA fugitives win amnesty". The Observer. Retrieved 2007-03-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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
Succeeded by
Ken Maginnis
Preceded by
Stephen Dorrell
Baby of the House
August 1981–1983
Succeeded by
Charles Kennedy