Gerry Adams announces he is to step down as Sinn Féin president in 2018

Gerry Adams announced at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis (annual conference) this weekend that he is stepping down as president of Sinn Féin in 2018 and also confirmed that he will not seek re-election to the Irish parliament, the Dáil, in the next general election.  Gerry Adams has been the president of the Irish political party Sinn Féin since 1983. From 1983 to 1992 and from 1997 to 2011, he was an abstentionist Member of Parliament (MP) for the Belfast West constituency of the British parliament. Since the Irish general election in 2011 he has been Teachta Dála (TD - member of the Irish parliament) for Louth. 

Over the period that he has been the president of Sinn Féin, the party has become the third-largest party in the Republic of Ireland, the second-largest political party in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the largest Irish nationalist party in that region. It now has 23 TDs (members of the Irish Parliament; 7 Seanadóirí (members of the Irish Senate); four MEPs (members of the European  parliament) representing all parts of the island Ireland; 27 MLAs (members of the Northern Ireland Assembly - Tionól Thuaisceart Éireann), 7 MPs (members of the British parliament), and over 250 Councillors.

Mr Adams described one of the party’s greatest achievements during his time as president was forging the peace process along with SDLP (Social Democratic and Labour Party)  leader John Hume. 

He told the conference: “We have also recast Sinn Féin into an effective all-Ireland republican party, with clear policy and political objectives, and the means to achieve them through democratic and peaceful forms of struggle where none existed before.

“Republicanism has never been stronger. 

“This is our time. We will grow even stronger in the future.”

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