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Gerry Adams denies he's preparing to step down

By Kevin Doyle

Published 20/07/2016

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has dismissed suggestions that he intends to step down as party leader within the next five years.

Mr Adams laughed at the comments made by his housing spokesman Eoin O Broin at the McGill Summer School in Glenties, Co Donegal.

The Dublin Mid-West TD said the time is coming when Sinn Fein will switch from Mr Adams (left) who has been leader since 1983.

"Is it going to happen in the next year or two? I don't think so. Is it likely to happen in the next five years? I think that's quite possible," Mr O Broin, a former Belfast councillor, said.

However, when questioned about the statement at Leinster House yesterday, Mr Adams said: "He must know something that I don't know either."

Asked if there was any truth to the five-year timeline, the Louth TD replied: "No, not at all."

Pressed as to when he might retire, Mr Adams again remained coy, stating: "I don't have anything I want to discuss. My problem is that if I tell you, you are going to tell everybody."

He added: "I'm not as foolish as Enda [Kenny], he did actually put a timeframe on it and then had to claw back from it."

A fresh debate over Mr Adams' leadership was sparked after a Sinn Fein branch chairman in Cavan suggested Mr Adams was hindering the party's expansion in the Republic.

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