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Michelle Gildernew MLA
MICHELLE GILDERNEW is from The Brantry, County Tyrone. She is married to Jimmy and is the mother of two boys - Emmet and Eunan, and one girl, Aoise. Michelle is one of a family of 10 and was raised on a small family farm. The Gildernews were leading members of the civil rights movement and were centrally involved in the campaign against discrimination in the allocation of council housing in the six counties - a campaign which sparked the origins of the Civil Rights movement. Tacaíonn Michelle GIldernew le próiseas na síochána agus straitéis Shinn Féin fa choinne Éire Aontaithe.
Michelle was educated at St Joseph's Primary (Caledon) and St Catherine's College in Armagh before continuing her studies at the University of Ulster, Coleraine. After leaving university Michelle traveled extensively in Europe, the United States and Australia where she worked for a year. On her return in 1996 she stood for Sinn Féin in the Forum elections for Fermanagh/South Tyrone. In 1997 she was appointed Sinn Féin representativeto London. While in London she was part of the first Sinn Féin delegation to Downing Street in December 1997.
She was elected MLA for Fermanagh/South Tyrone in the 1998 Assembly elections and successfully retained her seat in the 2003, 2007 & 2011 elections. She has been a member of the party's Ard Chomhairle (National Executive) and has served on the Equality sub-committee and the Women's Forum.
Michelle held the hugely important position of Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Assembly from 2007 - 2011. In her role as a Minister, Michelle tackled inequality and disadvantage in several areas of her ministerial portfolio. The Sinn Féin MP gained great respect from all quarters for her work as a Minister and a recent Belfast Telegraph poll, found that Michelle, alongside her party colleague Martin McGuinness were judged to be the two best performing Ministers in the Executive.
Michelle was dramatically elected MP for Fermanagh/South Tyrone in June 2001, 20 years after the historic victory of hunger striker Bobby Sands MP. Michelle was returned as MP in 2005 with an increased majority of over 4,500.She retained her seat in 2010 by a margin of just 4 votes
Michelle has played a key role on the Sinn Féin negotiating teams leading up to the Good Friday Agreement, the St Andrew's Agreement and the recent Hillsborough Agreement. Michelle has a particular interest in the Irish culture. She is a member of Aghaloo GAA club in Tyrone, enjoys traditional music and is a supporter of the Irish language. When she gets a chance, she enjoys spending time with her young family and her friends. Michelle also enjoys cooking and partaking in a wide range of outdoor activities. Michelle is a keen defender and supporter of women's and mothers' rights and works tirelessly as a Republican activist.
60 Irish Street,
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