Gerry Adams resigns as Sinn Fein leader after 34 years

Tricia Pearson
February 11, 2018

Mr Adams was a British MP between 1983 and 1992, and from 1997 to 2011, although never took his seat at Westminster because of Sinn Fein's policy of abstention in the British parliament.

According to the RTE, there was also rapturous applause when MEP Martina Anderson praised the contribution of Gerry Adams to both the party and the peace process.

"Now as a new generation takes the reins of leadership, our job is to bring innovative and modern ways of advancing our politics".

He said: "The outcome of Brexit is that people have just been reminded that for the last 20 years we have just practically had a single island economy, the border has ceased to be the intrusive, in your face, structure".

"Irish unity, in our time!"

'We do not want a 32 county free state.

"Everyone who wants a new and agreed Ireland should embrace that".

McDonald takes over Sinn Fein following a series of resignations and suspensions that have posed questions about the party's professionalism.

She said: "Soon we face into a campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment".

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Along the way he built Sinn Fein into a political force in Northern Ireland and Ireland. And ultimately to win Irish unity'.

However, the government in Northern Ireland collapsed more than a year ago and the two main Irish parties have refused to enter into a coalition with Sinn Fein because of its ties to the IRA.

The British government, which is overseeing the talks with the Irish government, has taken steps towards ruling the region directly from London for the first time in a decade, setting its budget late previous year.

While she has attempted to boost her party's prospects in the south, the northern branch of the party, led by Michelle O'Neill, 41, who was installed as Sinn Fein's vice president Saturday, is in a standoff with its chief rival, the Democratic Unionist Party.

Who is Mary Lou McDonald? Born in a middle-class Dublin neighborhood, McDonald joined Sinn Fein after the 1998 peace agreement, having previously belonged to Fianna Fail, a conservative establishment party.

From an upper class neighbourhood in Dublin, she attended a private Catholic school before studying English Literature, European Integration and Human Resource Management. Both women ran unopposed.

Referencing the ongoing talks at Stormont, Ms. McDonald said she would keep faith with the late Mr. McGuinness' insistence that power-sharing could only be restored on the basis of respect and equality.

For Sinn Féin supporters, Mr Adams is an iconic figure who has transformed the party's electoral fortunes to the extent that it has nearly reached parity with the DUP and could find itself as a coalition partner in the Republic.

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