Derry, Northern Ireland
MEP for Northern Ireland
Between 2007 and 2012 Anderson was an MLA representing Foyle in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Martina Anderson was born in the Bogside in Derry, Northern Ireland, into a large republican family. Her father was a Protestant. She has six sisters and three brothers, one of whom, Peter, is a Sinn Féin councillor.
Anderson was arrested aged 18 leaving a furniture store in Derry and charged with possession of a firearm and causing an explosion. Anderson was released on bail after spending two months in Armagh Women's Prison, and fled across the border to Buncrana in County Donegal.
Anderson was again arrested on 22 June 1985 at a flat in Glasgow with four other IRA members including Brighton bomber Patrick Magee. On 11 June 1986, all five were convicted of conspiring to cause explosions in England, although Magee was the only person convicted in relation to the Brighton bombing.
In 1989, Anderson married fellow prisoner and IRA member Paul Kavanagh at Full Sutton Prison. By 1993 she was one of just two female category A prisoners in England; the other being fellow Republican Ella O'Dwyer. In 1994, she was transferred from Durham Prison in England to Maghaberry Prison in Northern Ireland. On 10 November 1998, Anderson was released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
In 2007 Martina Anderson was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly as a Sinn Féin member for Foyle, along with Raymond McCartney.
In May 2007 Anderson became one of the first Sinn Féin members to join the Northern Ireland Policing Board.
In December 2007 Anderson said she was concerned that large numbers of migrant workers from mainly Catholic countries were being classed as ‘Catholic/nationalist’ in monitoring forms, rather than ‘other’, she said "Given that the entire basis of the legislation around monitoring was put in place to identify imbalances in the workforce between the local Catholic/nationalist and Protestant/ unionist communities it is therefore vital that given the addition of migrant workers in the workforce, that they should clearly be categorised as having a community background of ‘other’." Employment monitoring by the Equality Commission records solely religion, and not political affiliation.
She occupies the post of Director of Unionist Engagement for Sinn Féin 
She was selected by Sinn Féin to fight the Foyle constituency at the 2010 Westminster General Election. She lost to the SDLP incumbent, Mark Durkan by 5,000 votes (11% of the vote). In May 2012 it was announced that she would be replacing Bairbre de Brún, as MEP for Northern Ireland. Anderson retained her MEP seat in the 2014 election, topping the poll with 159,813 first-preference votes.
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