Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has extended his “deepest condolences and solidarity” to the family of former Sinn Féin Down Councillor Frank McDowell who has passed away.
Gerry Adams said: “I have known Frank McDowell for many years. He was a long-standing and committed member of Sinn Féin and an elected representative for the people of south Down over many years.
The late Frank McDowell.
“Frank was elected to Down District Council in 1985 and stood for the party in the Westminster by-elections in 1986. Those were very dangerous and difficult times.
“Collusion between British state forces and unionist paramilitaries saw many members of our party and family members killed. Despite the harassment and intimidation Frank never wavered in his activism.
“He remained deeply committed to his community and to the struggle for freedom, independence and unity. In July Frank, his wife Madge and family joined myself and Pearse Doherty, as well as Mary Lou McDonald and others when he visited Leinster House.
“He was hugely impressed by the Sinn Féin team in the Oireachtas. I told him that we would not be there and Sinn Féin would not be the growing party we are across the island but for his courage and steadfastness and that of many others.
“I want to extend my sincerest condolences and solidarity to Frank’s family, his wife Madge, sons Brendan and Oliver, daughters Mairéad and Bernadette, and to his grandchildren and the wider McDowell family.