Gerry Adams resigns as leader of Sinn Féin

Gerry Adams Sinn Féin. oireachtasGerry Adams, Leader of Sinn Féin. Photo: oireachtas

Gerry Adams steps down as leader of Sinn Féin

Gerry Adams resigns after 34 years as head of Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland. Mary Lou McDonald takes over the helm.


69-year-old Adams was elected deputy leader of the Leftist Party in 1978 and took over as party leader in 1983. During Sinn Féin’s congress in Dublin last November he announced he would take his leave in 2018.

– Leadership also entails knowing when it’s time for change, and that time is now, he said at the time.

In January it became clear that Adams would be succeeded by 48-year-old Mary Lou McDonald, who officially takes over on Saturday.

– There are some big shoes I have to fill when I take over after Gerry Adams, and I know that it is impossible to do so. M – But I’ve got my own shoes, and together with all the other party members I’m starting on a journey that will ultimately lead to Irish unification, she states on Saturday.

McDonald has been a member of the European Parliament since 2004 and has been the deputy chairperson of Sinn Féin since 2009. She has even been a member of the Irish Parliament since 2011.

Adams was one of the architects behind the so-called Good Friday Agreement, which formed the basis for the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Adams was elected to the British Parliament during the periods 1983-92 and 1997-2011, but did not meet because he refused to swear allegiance to the Queen. From 1998 to 2010 he was also a member of the Northern Ireland National Assembly.

About Sinn Féin (Wikipedia)

Sinn Féin (/ʃɪn ˈfeɪn/ shin-FAYN; Irish pronunciation: [ʃɪnʲ ˈfʲeːnʲ]; English: Ourselves or We Ourselves[5]) is a left-wing Irish republican political party active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.


The Sinn Féin organisation was founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith. It took its current form in 1970 after a split within the party (with the other side becoming the Workers’ Party of Ireland), and has historically been associated with the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Gerry Adams has been party president since 1983.

Sinn Féin is a major party in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It is the largest nationalist party in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and the second-largest overall; it had four ministerial posts in the most recent power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive. It holds seven of Northern Ireland’s 18 seats—the second-largest bloc after the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)—at Westminster, where it follows a policy of abstentionism, refusing to attend parliament or vote on bills.

It is the third-largest party in the Oireachtas, the parliament of the Republic of Ireland. As Ireland’s dominant parties of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil are both centre-right and political descendants of Sinn Féin. Sinn Féin in its current iteration is the largest left-wing party in Ireland.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today.