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Caitríona Ruane: Wikis


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Caitríona Ruane MLA

Assumed office 
8 May 2007
Preceded by Martin McGuinness

Assumed office 
26 November 2003
Preceded by Mick Murphy

Born 19 July 1962 (1962-07-19) (age 47)
Swinford, County Mayo, Ireland
Political party Sinn Féin
Website SF election page

Caitríona Ruane MLA (born 1962 in Swinford, County Mayo) is a Sinn Féin politician and a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for South Down.[1][2]

In the first Executive under First Minister Ian Paisley and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness she was appointed Minister for Education. She has faced opposition over the scrapping of the Transfer Examination (Eleven Plus) and her subsequent plans for a replacement.



Ruane is a former professional tennis player who represented Ireland in the Fed Cup. She now lives in Carlingford, County Louth and is married with two children.[3] In the past Ruane has acted as director of the Féile an Phobail and chairperson of the St Patrick's Carnival Committee in Belfast.[4]

"Bring them Home" campaign

Ruane was a prominent member of the Bring Them Home campaign for the Colombia Three, which sought the safe return of three Irishmen later convicted in their absence in Colombia of training Marxist rebels.[5]

Abolition of the Eleven Plus

Ruane has faced opposition for her support for abolition of the Eleven Plus examination, originally planned by her predecessor Martin McGuinness.[6] She has faced opposition from the Democratic Unionist Party [7] and Social Democratic and Labour Party[8] as well as from grammar schools in Northern Ireland, causing them to form the AQE[9] (Association for Quality Education), which will offer a replacement for the Transfer Examination, with 30 grammar schools signed up to the plan.[10] She was alleged to have delayed the publication of a report which showed that public opinion favoured academic selection. [11]

Bobby Sands complaint

In December 2008, she praised the Provisional IRA hunger striker, Bobby Sands, whilst giving a speech at a Northern Ireland school. A member of the public complained to the PSNI claiming her speech was illegal under the law preventing glorification of terrorism.[12]


Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
Mick Murphy
MLA for Down South
2003 -
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Office suspended
Minister of Education
2007 - present
Succeeded by


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