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Former Sinn Fein MLA Francie Brolly dies

The musician and teacher quit the party in 2018 over its stance on abortion

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Former Sinn Fein politician Francie Brolly has died (Paul Faith/PA)

Former Sinn Fein politician Francie Brolly has died (Paul Faith/PA)

Former Sinn Fein politician Francie Brolly has died (Paul Faith/PA)

Musician and former Sinn Fein politician Francie Brolly has died.

The teacher, Irish traditional singer-songwriter and gaelic games enthusiast, who was in his early 80s, served as an Assembly Member for East Londonderry from 2003 to 2010.

Staunchly anti-abortion, he quit Sinn Fein in 2018 after the party adopted a more liberal position on the issue.

His wife Anne, with whom he recorded and sang Irish ballads and republican songs, had left the party over its stance on abortion two years earlier.

They both joined the anti-abortion republican party Aontu.

The couple’s first child Joe is a well-known gaelic football pundit and barrister.

Death Brolly
Michelle O’Neill called Mr Brolly a tireless campaigner (Niall Carson/PA)

Stormont deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill paid tribute to Mr Brolly.

“Francie Brolly was a significant figure in the political life of east Derry for many years and will be missed by many,” she said.

“He was a tireless campaigner for civil rights and human rights and a committed Irish Republican.

“As a teacher, activist, campaigner and elected representative, he helped shape the community in his native Dungiven and further afield.

“Aside from politics, Francie also made a huge contribution to the musical and cultural world with his songs he recorded and performed alongside his wife, Anne, and his love of the Irish language.

“I want to send my condolences to his widow, Anne, children Joe, Proinnsias, Conal, Aine and Nollaig, the entire Brolly family and everyone who knew Francie and my thoughts are with them at this sad time.”

PA