Taoiseach suggests Sinn Féin leadership change 'doesn't fundamentally change anything in politics'

Mary Lou McDonald has been nominated as president-elect of Sinn Féin

Taoiseach suggests Sinn Féin leadership change 'doesn't fundamentally change anything in politics'

Leo Varadkar. Picture by: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

The Taoiseach has welcomed the change of leadership in Sinn Féin - but says he's not expecting any major political changes within the party.

It was confirmed yesterday that Mary Lou McDonald has been nominated as president-elect of Sinn Féin.

The current deputy leader was the only candidate nominated for the role.

Deputy McDonald's nomination is expected to be ratified at a special Ard Fheis next month.

Gerry Adams has been leader of Sinn Féin since 1983, and announced his intention to stand down last year.

Speaking to Clare FM, Leo Varadkar congratulated Deputy McDonald on her nomination.

The Taoiseach said the Dublin TD is a "very different person" to Gerry Adams, but added that he doesn't expect his relationship with the second largest opposition party to change.

He observed: "We will continue to spar in the Dáil as we have in the past. I think it's welcome that [...] Sinn Féin has finally found a new leader, if not by election."

Highlighting issues such as the continued impasse between the DUP and Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland, Mr Varadkar suggested: "I don't think it changes anything fundamentally, politically - but she is obviously a very different person to Gerry Adams."