March 25, 2018

McDonald succeeds Adams as Sinn Fein boss

10 February 2018, 11:59 | Taylor George

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Gerry Adams In his own words

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Gerry Adams In his own words

Northern Ireland's two main parties reported on Friday that they had made progress in a last-ditch attempt to restore devolved government, with the Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein saying talks would conclude one way or another next week.

She first ran for Sinn Fein in 2002, standing unsuccessfully in Dublin West, but became the party's first member of the European Parliament representing a seat in the Republic in 2004.

MARY Lou McDonald was today formally elected as the new leader of the Irish left-wing republican party Sinn Fein.

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.

In her first speech as party president, she reiterated the party's position to secure a referendum vote to secure Irish unity.

Unlike Adams, 69, who grew up in the sectarian environment of Belfast, McDonald came from a wealthy background. "To win elections, to increase our political strength, to realise our ambition of being in government, North and South".

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'Our focus must be on building Sinn Fein into an organisation that is fit for objective, and our goal is to win, to win elections, to increase our political strength, to realise our ambition of being in government north and south, to win progressive political victories every single day.

McDonald added: 'Now is the time for fresh thinking and bold ideas to take us forward, ' she said.

Mrs McDonald was the sole nominee to take over the reigns of the republican party.

McDonald immediately put her own stamp on the future, trying to infuse new energy into the movement that has lawmakers on both sides of the Irish border.

She spoke in front of a packed house at the RDS in Dublin outlining her plans as the party completes a generational shift for the former political wing of the IRA.

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