Martin Ferris

Martin Ferris
Martin Ferris TD
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2011
Constituency Kerry North–West Limerick
In office
May 2002 – February 2011
Constituency Kerry North
Personal details
Born 10 February 1952 (1952-02-10) (age 59)
County Kerry, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Sinn Féin
Website Martin Ferris TD

Martin Ferris (born 10 February 1952) is an Irish Sinn Féin politician and a former Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) volunteer. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Kerry North–West Limerick (previously Kerry North) constituency since 2002 and is one of fourteen Sinn Féin representatives in the current Dáil.[1]


Early life

Ferris was born in County Kerry and educated locally. He has been involved in Irish republicanism since 1970. His daughter, Toiréasa Ferris, is a former Cathaoirleach (chairperson) and current member of Kerry County Council. Ferris won an All-Ireland Under-21 Football Championship medal with Kerry in 1973.

IRA activity

Ferris served ten years (1984-1994) in prison for his involvement in the attempted importation of arms from the United States. In September 1984, the fishing vessel Valhalla, sailed from Boston, while the trawler Marita Ann, sailed from Fenit, County Kerry. In the mid-Atlantic, seven tons of explosives, arms and ammunition were transferred from the Valhalla to the Marita Ann. Sometime afterwards, the Irish Navy vessels Emer and Aisling along with members of the Garda Síochána detained the Marita Ann and arrested its crew. Ferris was convicted for the possession of explosive substances for unlawful purpose and for possession of firearms and ammunition with intent to endanger life. He served his sentence in the maximum-security Portlaoise Prison, a prison often used to hold Irish Republican prisoners.

In February 2005 Irish Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Michael McDowell, using parliamentary privilege, named Ferris, as well as Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness, as members of the IRA Army Council, an allegation that has been flatly denied by Ferris and the Sinn Féin leadership. In July of the same year, the Irish Independent reported[2] that Ferris, along with Adams and McGuinness had stepped down from the Army Council in the lead-up to an IRA statement on its future.

Teachta Dála

Following his release from prison he began focusing on community activism, particularly against drug dealing in Kerry. He ran for election to the Dáil at the 1997 general election but did not win a seat. In 1999, Ferris was elected to Kerry County Council and the local urban district council in Tralee, though he failed to be elected to the European Parliament in an election held on the same day. Ferris was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2002 general election for the Kerry North constituency, unseating former Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Dick Spring.[3] In the Dáil he is currently the Sinn Féin spokesperson on Agriculture and Rural Development, as well as the Marine and Natural Resources.



External links

Preceded by
Dick Spring
(Labour Party)
Sinn Féin Teachta Dála for Kerry North
Constituency abolished
New constituency Sinn Féin Teachta Dála for Kerry North–West Limerick

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