Gerry Kelly -Sinn Fein MLA
PERSONAL INFORMATION: Kelly was one of 11 children
SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS: Hard line Republican
1973 - Kelly was a member of the IRA who bombed the Old Bailey and Scotland Yard with Price sisters, killed 1 person, injured 250. He was given a life sentence. Kelly, with the Price sisters, demanded repatriation.
1981- Hunger strikes opposing criminalisation were initiated by IRA prisoners against the adamant advice of the IRA army council. They were coordinated by Brendan McFarlane, who took over as IRA commanding officer inside the Maze.
1983 - Deliberately shot prison warder in the head during the escape from Maze
1986 - Gerry Kelly was recaptured in Holland along with Bik McFarlane
2000 - Gerry Kelly is now a Sinn Fein, MLA member sitting in Stormont and is making decisions effecting ordinary peoples lives.
The year before had been the deadliest of the Troubles, the year that London resumed direct rule, the year that began with Bloody Sunday and ended with a death toll of 467.
When the prisoners were finally transferred to Northern Ireland, Kelly was sent to Long Kesh. Special category status, conceded to the republican and loyalist prisoners by William Whitelaw in 1972, was being abolished. The Labour government embarked on a new criminalisation strategy designed to deny the prisoners' status as soldiers. Long Kesh was to be transformed into a modern, high-security system known as the Maze.
Gerry (Gerard) Kelly escaped from the Maze. Gerry Kelly and Bik McFarlane eluded capture and went to Europe. When they were finally arrested in Amsterdam 1986, after a tip-off, their flat in Amsterdam contained cash in several currencies, maps and fake passports, and the keys to a container holding ammunition, rifles and bomb-making material. 14 rifles, 100,000 rounds, and about a ton of nitro-benzine, were also recovered by the authorities. They were extradited and sent back to the Maze
Now Sinn Fein, MLA for the Ballymurphy area. This area has suffered the most this past 30 years. New Lodge is at the heart of Gerry Kelly's North Belfast constituency. Gates as high as a house still separate this republican community from the loyalist neighbourhood across the road.
A third of sectarian murders have been committed here.
Kelly spent 19 years in prison.
The British government had since 1991 sanctioned secret communications with the Provisional leadership. Early in 1993, secret talks began in earnest. Gerry Kelly was part of the conversation.
Gerry Kelly, convicted of bombings in London, escaped during the maze escapes but was captured in Holland and extradited, he served only a very short sentence thereafter because of conditions placed on his extradition by the Dutch.
Accused in the House of Commons of being a chief of staff of the IRA - newspaper reports say that he was the IRA chief of staff who took a major part in deciding to resume IRA violence.(Sunday World)
He is also believed to have been the 'link' man between the IRA and Sinn Fein wings of provisional republicanism during the recent talks.
A Terrorist In Government Would Your
Country Allow It?