Friday, 23 July 2010


(L-R) Dr. Ruari OHanlon TD, Martin McAllister, (Chair, Armagh Fianna Fáil Forum)
An Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Margaret Conlon TD
© Joe ÓNéill

Crowds welcome An Taoiseach in the square at Crossmaglen
© Joe ÓNéill

An Taoiseach Brian Cowen faces the press at Crossmaglen
© Joe ÓNéill

Hundreds of people gathered in the square of the Irish northern town of Crossmaglen, Co. Armagh, last night, to welcome Irish Taoiseach, (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen.

An Taoiseach, was on a visit to the town to officially open a constituency office of the Armagh Forum of Fianna Fáil. A dinner in his honour was held in the Cross Square Hotel which was attended by over two hundred invited guests. Local border TD Margaret Conlon, (Cavan, Monaghan) accompanied An Taoiseach to the event. On his arrival he was greeted by another Cavan - Monaghan TD and member of the Northern Strategy Committee, Dr. Ruari OHanlon, and chairman of the Armagh Fianna Fáil Forum, Martin McAllister. Ministers, Éamon ÓCuiv, (Minister for Social Protection) and Dermot Ahern, (Minister for Justice) also members of the NSC, attended the event, as well as many local border county councillors.

Before the IRA ceasefire, in this staunchly republican Co. Armagh town, and the surrounding border area, which was termed ''Bandit Country'' by the British media, British troops and police, billeted in the town's GAA sports ground, were under constant attack, and had to have their supplies airlifted in by helicopter.

Fianna Fáil northern forums have been accredited in counties Armagh, Down, and Fermanagh, and Antrim will launch in September.

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