Mary Lou McDonald to succeed Gerry Adams as Sinn Fein party leader

Gerry Adams has been Sinn Féin leader since 1983

Mary Lou McDonald has been introduced to Sinn Féin supporters as the party's President-Elect by Gerry Adams at a meeting this morning of the party Ard Comhairle and its Northern region organisation in Belfast.

McDonald, who has been a Teachta Dala (TD) since 2011 now for Dublin Central, was the only person to put her name forward for the role before nominations closed on Friday.

"But I have brought my own shoes and together, with all of the party membership, we will walk on a journey that will lead to Irish unity".

Mr Adams is stepping down from the position next month and used the occasion to confirm that Ms McDonald is the only candidate proposed to succeed him. 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.

She became Sinn Fein's first MEP in the Republic of Ireland in 2004 and Blevins said she had "lots of political experience and is well known for voicing her views, rather strongly on occasion".




A Claire Byrne/Amarách poll for the TheJournal.ie asked people: "Would you be more likely to vote for Sinn Fein under the leadership of Mary Lou McDonald?"

McDonald was elected by the party to succeed Adams and will be formally ratified to her position at the Ard-Fheis on 10th February.

Earlier, Gerry Adams said that the current political atmosphere in Northern Ireland was "toxic".

A fresh talks process aimed at restoring the power-sharing government at Stormont is due to begin on Wednesday.

She also said: "I believe we are capable of achieving anything that we set our minds to". We are agents for change and it is up to us to find the ways and means to create more of this positive change.

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