Sinn Fein holds power base
Published 09/05/2011 | 04:16
Gerry Adams may have quit frontline politics in Northern Ireland but his Midas touch lives on in west Belfast.
There were no surprises in Sinn Fein's hub in the republican quarter of the city, taking back five of the six seats in their most loyal constituency.
His successor Pat Sheehan said it was a historic day with the party delivering a blow to pundits who claimed it could not be sustained for a second term.
Undetermined with his low number of first preference votes, he said it was the party's strategy that he would poll last.
Mr Adams arrived in the King’s Hall count centre on Friday to cheers fit for the return of a local hero.
But the party's new poll topper Paul Maskey insisted he wasn't stepping into his place, stressing that Sinn Fein was about community above personality.
SDLP's Alex Attwood, meanwhile, was finally elected to retain his seat in the Assembly on the 10th count.