Belfast Telegraph

Adams: I have no plans to run for Irish Presidency

By Cormac McQuinn

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has said he has "no intention" of running for the Irish presidency - but denies it's because he fears questions about his past coming up on the campaign trail.

Meanwhile, he is still refusing to pass on the name of an IRA man who looked into the murder of prison officer Brian Stack to the Irish police.

Mr Adams was speaking after a Sinn Fein protest at the Irish parliament in Dublin over a delay in extending voting rights in presidential elections to Irish citizens in Northern Ireland and overseas.

He denied that his party was pressing the issue in a bid to benefit from a likely electoral boost if voters in its northern power base could cast a ballot in the next Aras race, which could come as early as 2018.

He said rather it's "to do with the rights of people in the North" and because it was a measure recommended during the constitutional convention.

Asked about his own potential ambitions to run, he said: "I have no intention of standing for a presidential election."

He dismissed suggestion that this was due to fears that questions about his past could arise, or because he could be confronted by the families of IRA victims - like Brian Stack's son Austin - during the campaign.

"No, no. That's never been a consideration for me," he said, repeating that he had "no intention" of seeking election to the presidency.

Mr Adams was last week confronted at a Press conference by Austin Stack, who asked him to tell Garda the identity of an IRA man he and his brother were brought to meet in a blacked-out van in 2013.

However, Mr Adams has refused to name the individual who confirmed to the Stack brothers that Provisional IRA members carried out the murder of their father.

A Fianna Fail spokesman said the party was supportive of the Sinn Fein motion on voting rights, but said it was "premature" in the absence of detailed work on implementation.

In the Dail Enda Kenny told Mr Adams he expects an update on the matter next month.

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