22 January, 2018
After almost 35 years at the head of the Irish republican party, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams is set to be replaced by his deputy, Mary Lou McDonald, in party elections next month.
Deputy McDonald's succession to president-elect comes after Gerry Adams past year announced he would be standing down as his party's leader in 2018.
As the only person to be nominated for the position, McDonald will be formally ratified as the new leader in three week's time at a special Ard Fheis in Dublin's RDS on 10 February.
"Well, the truth is that no one will ever fill Gerry Adams's shoes. I won't fill Gerry's shoes - the news is I've brought my own".
Adams had announced that he was no longer interested in campaigning for another term at a party conference in November. 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.
Sinn Fein, which wants Northern Ireland to leave the United Kingdom and become part of the Republic of Ireland, is the second-biggest party in the Belfast assembly and the third-biggest in the Dublin parliament.
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Many party members have been tweeting their support for Ms McDonald.
"In my view, this is not good for anyone expect a small minority of bigots" he said.
A fourth attempt to end the impasse is due to begin on Wednesday.
Several rounds of talks aimed at ending the political stalemate ended without agreement.
In his speech, Mr Adams stated that "it is not in the interests of the vast majority of citizens that political parties should retreat to our trenches and hunker down comfortably in the certainty of our respective positions". We also have to challenge unionism.