Gerry Adams to announce retirement as Sinn Féin president today

Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou Mc Donald

Gerry Adams has announced he is stepping down as President of Sinn Fein, once the political arm of the now inactive Irish Republican Army (IRA), after 34 years in charge of the party, a media report said.

"I will be setting out the process of generational change, including my own future intentions", he said earlier this year.

Last night, the party voted in favour of a motion to hold a special conference on any decision to enter coalition government, with Mary Lou McDonald telling delegates that those who said Sinn Fein were not interested in government were very wrong. "I will not be standing for the Dail", said Adams.

Adams will nearly certainly hand over to a successor with no direct involvement in the decades of conflict in Northern Ireland, a prospect that would make Sinn Fein a more palatable coalition partner in the Irish Republic where it has never been in power.

He was a key figure in Ireland's republican movement, which seeks to take Northern Ireland out of the U.K. and unite it with the Republic of Ireland.


Adams, who has led Northern Ireland's second biggest political party for more than 30 years, has often been a controversial figure. A year later, he helped win sceptical elements in the IRA to the Good Friday peace deal, which largely ended the violence.

"I thought I needed to tell you ..."

Since the peace deal Adams and McGuinness turned Sinn Fein from a fringe party into the dominant Irish nationalist party in Northern Ireland and the third largest party in south of the border.

Additionally, Michelle O'Neill would take on the role of Sinn Féin's leader in Stormont.

McGuinness resigned in January as deputy First Minister, causing the collapse of the Northern Ireland's devolved government, over a botched energy scheme and died shortly after in March.

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