Sinn Fein pays tribute to former councillor

Sinn Fein pays tribute to former councillor

10 January 2018

TRIBUTES have been paid to former Sinn Fein councillor Frank McDowell who died last week aged 73.

Mr McDowell who was elected to the former Down Council in 1985, passed away at his home in Kilcoo last Friday surrounded by his family.

The former councillor, who has been credited with making “historic advances” on behalf of the party in South Down, also stood for Sinn Fein in the 1986 Westminster election.

Leading the tributes, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said Mr McDowell had represented the party during “very dangerous and difficult times.”

He continued: “Despite the harassment and intimidation, Frank never wavered in his activism. He remained deeply committed to his community and to the struggle for freedom, independence and unity.”

The party’s South Down MP, Chris Hazzard, described the married father-of-four as someone who “exemplified all that is good about republicanism; of our core values of freedom, equality, and solidarity.”

He continued: “Frank was a formidable person, devoted to his family, his community, and his country.

“For those of us who followed in Frank’s footsteps in South Down, we will always be indebted to his selfless dedication to serving his community and his people.

“The historic advances made in South Down are a testament to the years of service and dedication that Frank gave to the republican movement. Sinn Féin and the wider community in South Down have lost a friend, a comrade, a life-long republican activist.”

Councillor Willie Clarke has also paid tribute to Mr McDowell.

He added: “I was very sad to learn of Frank’s death. He dedicated his whole life to the republican cause and entered politics when Sinn Féin elected representatives were being assassinated.

“Frank was our group leader on the former Down Council when I entered politics and I thank him for all his support. My thoughts are also with the family at this sad time.”

Mr McDowell is survived by his wife, Madge, and children Brendan, Mairead, Bernadette and Oliver and wide family circle.

The funeral mass was held on Sunday in St Malachy’s Church, Kilcoo, with interment afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

Smypathy was extended to Mr McDowell’s family at Monday night’s meeting  of Newry, Mourne and Down Council by council chairwoman Roisin Mulgrew.