Mary Lou McDonald To Be Confirmed As New Sinn Féin Leader

Gerry Adams: Final draft of history likely to be kinder than the first

Gerry Adams: Final draft of history likely to be kinder than the first

Gerry Adams has stepped down as Sinn Fein president after 34 years leading the republican party.

She was officially ratified as the new Sinn Fein president at a historic party conference in Dublin on Saturday afternoon in front of around 2,000 delegates.

McDonald, 48, a Dublin-born politician from a middle class background, was the only lawmaker to put her name forward to succeed Adams, who had led the left-wing party since 1983.

Ms McDonald added: "We do not have to agree on the past. But if faced with courage, need not be lived again'".

The election of a woman from a younger generation, who had no direct involvement in the 30-year Northern Irish conflict, represents a considerable break with the past for the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

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The end of Adams' tenure marks a new era for the party, which wants to unite the United Kingdom's Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland to the south.

Mr Adams, the world's most recognisable Irish republican, has always been a controversial figure in politics. But its association with the Troubles has prevented it from gaining more popularity among voters, reports the AP.

She was first elected to the Dáil seven years ago on her third attempt, and she was an MEP for Dublin from 2004 to 2009.

Before his entrance on the show, however, Garth Brook' If Tomorrow Never Comes played to welcome him on to talk about his life and legacy now that he's retiring from the Sinn Féin party.

He said it would be too simplistically to tie Irish unity to Brexit but said his efforts had certainly been helped by the Leave victory.

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McDonald also laid out her positions on the key issues of the day.

McDonald touched on her ambitious plans to "see Sinn Fein in government north and south" during her speech.

"Like Martin, Gerry is respected across Ireland and the world as a patriot, a statesman and a peacemaker", she said.

"Ireland will not be the collateral damage in the political games and antics of Tories in London", she said, referring to the Conservative Party of British Prime Minister Theresa May.

"But, as I said to our unionist friends, this is the last chance agreement", Mr Adams said on Friday, as he left Stormont for the last time.

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