Sinn Féin to elect new party leader 'before end of February 2018'

The party has announced a timeline to choose a successor for Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin to elect new party leader 'before end of February 2018'

Gerry Adams. Photo: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Sinn Féin has announced that it will hold a Special Ard Fheis to elect a new party leader before the end of February 2018.

The announcement comes two weeks after Gerry Adams announced his intention to step down as the party's president ahead of the next general election.

Sinn Féin chairperson Declan Kearney MLA explained: “At our recent Ard Fheis Gerry Adams requested that the incoming Ard Comhairle meet to organise a special Ard Fheis in the new year to elect a new Uachtarán.

“The Ard Comhairle has met today and agreed that the special Ard Fheis will take place before the end of February with nominations opening in the New Year."

He highlighted that it is likely there will be a general election in the Republic next year.

Mr Kearney observed: "Sinn Féin under our new leader will face into that election offering people a chance to elect a new Government. A Government committed to tackling the inequality which underpins the crisis in health and delivers the scandal of thousands of our children homeless this Christmas.

“Our new leader will lead the only all-Ireland political party, one which is uniquely placed to meet the challenges and resist Tory attempts deliver a hard Brexit and a hard border."

Deputy Adams has served as Sinn Féin leader since 1983, and has been a TD since 2011 following stints as both an MP and MLA.

The party's deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has been tipped as a favourite to take over from Deputy Adams.