McDonald confirmed as Sinn Féin President-Elect at party gathering

Kristopher Nichols
January 22, 2018

Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald is set to succeed Gerry Adams as the party's leader.

Deputy McDonald's succession to president-elect comes after Gerry Adams previous year announced he would be standing down as his party's leader in 2018. But the news is that I brought my own.

The 48-year-old politician was confirmed as the sole nominee to be the party's president following Gerry Adams' announcement in November that he would step down after 34 years in the role. The 69-year-old is a key figure in the Irish republican movement, which seeks to take Northern Ireland out of the U.K. and unite it with the Republic of Ireland.

Sinn Fein, which wants Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom and become part of the Republic of Ireland, is the second-biggest party in the Belfast assembly and the third-biggest in the Dublin parliament.

"If you wanted this job, you're too late", Mr Adams quipped as he introduced his successor.

McDonald presents a fresh face for the party and has no historic links to the Irish Republican Army (IRA), the now-defunct paramilitary wing of Sinn Fein responsible for more than 1 700 deaths during the conflict known as the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

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"Politics in this state are very polarised at this time and the atmosphere is very toxic".

The party's deputy leader and Dublin Central TD was announced as president-elect at a Sinn Féin AGM in Belfast this morning, a day after nominations for the leadership closed.

"We have to challenge ourselves and our support base".

Just days before the start of the new talks process, Mr Adams said there was "no merit" in disengaging from the conversations with unionists. "We also have to challenge unionism", he added.

The sentiments will be noted by the British and Irish governments with political negotiations due to recommence in Stormont next Wednesday. "That will benefit all sections of our people".

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