Northern Ireland news

Veteran republican Rita O'Hare to leave US for Dublin

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams and the party's north America representative and general secretary Rita O'Hare meeting then president-elect Barack Obama in Washington in 2008. File picture by Sinn Féin, Press Association

VETERAN republican Rita O'Hare is to return to Ireland after two decades spent working as Sinn Féin's North America representative.

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald announced at the party's Ard Fheis in Derry at the weekend that Ms O'Hare will "soon leave her role in the US".

Ms O'Hare, from Belfast, has been on the run since 1972 after fleeing Northern Ireland while awaiting trial for attempted murder.

Sinn Féin confirmed in 2014 that she was among a string of republicans who had asked the British government if they would face arrest if they returned home.

However, a party spokesman refused to say at the time if Ms O'Hare was among 187 IRA on-the-runs who had received a 'letter of assurance' from the government.

A Sinn Féin spokesman said last night Ms O'Hare would be returning to her home in Dublin.

Ms McDonald told the Ard Fheis that Ms O'Hare will "return home to help us build the new Ireland she has dedicated her life to achieve".

Ms O'Hare, who divides her time between Dublin and the US, was charged over an attack on a British army officer in Belfast in 1971.

She was also charged with malicious wounding and firearms possession.

After she was released on bail in 1972, she fled to the Republic.

Ms O'Hare later served three years in Limerick Prison after being convicted for attempting to smuggle explosives to IRA prisoners.

An attempt to have her extradited back to Belfast failed in 1978 after the High Court in Dublin ruled that the offences were political.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 to get full access

Northern Ireland news