Mary Lou McDonald set to be next Sinn Féin president

Jan 22, 2018, 01:33
Mary Lou McDonald set to be next Sinn Féin president

Mary Lou McDonald, who has been nominated as Sinn Fein's new leader, says a united Ireland is "not a pipe dream" and "is the road we're are on".

Thanking party members today, Deputy McDonald said: "I want to say at the very outset that I don't for a moment underestimate the scale of this undertaking - both on a personal level and indeed on a political level".

The truth is that no-one will ever fill Gerry Adams' shoes.

The change comes at a politically turbulent time, but according to many observers, it could also bring new opportunities for the party.

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Party president Gerry Adams announced his intention to stand down in November after more than three decades at the helm. 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.

Before getting elected to the Dáil, she was an MEP representing the Dublin constituency - becoming Sinn Fein's first MEP in the Republic of Ireland in 2004.

Adams played a major role in convincing the IRA to disarm as part of the Northern Ireland peace process and masterminded Sinn Fein's rise to become the second-biggest political force north of the border and the third in the south.

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

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"In my view, this is not good for anyone expect a small minority of bigots" he said.

Ms McDonald will be formally ratified at a special Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Dublin.

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

She also said: "I believe we are capable of achieving anything that we set our minds to".

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"Standing still is not an option. That will benefit all sections of our people".

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