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Gearóid Ó hEára (English: Gerard O'Hara) (born 1953 in Creggan, Derry, Northern Ireland) is a Sinn Féin politician and a former Mayor of Derry,

Educated by the Irish Christian Brothers, Ó hEára joined the Provisional Irish Republican Army following the sectarian conflagrations of the late 1960s and 1970s.

During the inquiry into Bloody Sunday Ó hEára stated that in January 1972, when he was 18 years of age, he was a member of the Derry branch of Fianna Éireann, During the inquiry it was reported that "Mr. ÓhEára [sic] said the leadership of the Fianna was collective and he was part of an inner circle. He was nominal leader of this inner circle because he was the person chosen to deal with the IRA liaison officer who was their contact with the IRA. He had no title and was not an officer commanding as such. He said he had not mentioned his involvement with the Fianna in his original statement because he was on the march as a member of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association (NICRA), not the Fianna. He refused to name the IRA Liaison Officer but said he would approach him to see if he would give evidence."

Almost ten years prior to the IRA ceasefire of 1997, Ó hEára obtained a visa to travel to the United States where he attended a pre-reconciliation ceremony at the Jesuit-run Fordham University, in The Bronx, New York, which was attended by both Unionist and Nationalist politicians.

The Irish Echo quoted Ó hEára as stating that his party supported a democratic, pluralistic, accountable and secular Ireland. Upon becoming Mayor of Derry, he gave the following speech (see [1]). He supports a leading gay-rights organisation in Northern Ireland, the Rainbow Project, funding for which, when he was questioned, replied: I didn't realise the Rainbow Project was that strapped. His Deputy Mayor was the Democratic Unionist Party Alderman, Joe Miller.

He was married to Deirdre, and their children are being educated in Irish language-medium schools, where the first language taught is Irish, and English is the school's second language.

According to the Arts Council for Northern Ireland website, his resume is the following:

  1. ... an Irish Language specialist from Derry where he works for An Gaelaras, an Irish Language organisation.
  2. The activities of this body include economic development, courses, vocational education, youth, multi-media and artistic development.
  3. He has had many years experience as a city councillor and served on the Arts Review Group and Cultural Sub-Committee.
  4. Mr. Ó hEára is a member of Foras na Gaeilge and a former member of Foyle Tourism.


Arts Council for Northern Ireland website

Political offices
Preceded by
Shaun Gallgher
Mayor of Derry
Succeeded by
Lynn Fleming

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