Mary Lou McDonald confirmed as President-elect of Sinn Féin

Mary Lou McDonald confirmed as President-elect of Sinn Féin

Mary Lou McDonald confirmed as President-elect of Sinn Féin

Mary Lou McDonald is set to take over from Gerry Adams as the leader of Sinn Féin after it emerged she will run unopposed for the job.

Sinn Féin's Ard Comhairle met in Belfast earlier to formally announce McDonald as nominee for leader.

A special Ard Fheis (party conference) will be held on 10 February to elect the new leader.

She added; "I never thought come February 10 I would be the boss man!"

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?"

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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Adams has been leader of Sinn Féin since 1983 with McDonald being deputy leader of the party since 2009. I will walk in my shoes.

He said his father was a "huge admirer of her ideas, dedication and commitment", and that she was the "ideal candidate to lead Sinn Fein into the future".

He described politics in Northern Ireland as "very polarised and very toxic". "It is my view that this does not help anyone except a small minority of bigots", he said.

The sentiments will be noted by the British and Irish governments with political negotiations due to recommence in Stormont next Wednesday.

Several rounds of talks aimed at ending the political stalemate ended without agreement. "Leadership means knowing when it is time for change and that time is now", said the 69-year-old Adams at the time. We also have to challenge unionism. "That will benefit all sections of our people".

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