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Gerry Adams endorses Mary-Lou McDonald to lead Sinn Fein after he steps down - despite reports PIRA oppose her

Published 29/10/2015

Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald pictured with party leader Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein's Mary Lou McDonald pictured with party leader Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has said he would support Mary Lou McDonald’s leadership of the party when he steps down.

Mr Adams was responding to weekend reports that the Provisional IRA’s army council will not approve of Ms McDonald taking the reins of the party when he ends his more than three decade reign of Sinn Féin.

The Louth TD said he would “of course” support Ms McDonald as Sinn Féin leader and said there was no reason why someone who did not live in Northern Ireland during the Troubles could not take over from him.

“The people who will take that decision, as it does every year, will be the Ard Fheis,” he added.

Asked if was healthy for democracy for Mr Adams to continue leading Sinn Féin for more than 30 years, he said: “That’s a matter for the party”.

Mr Adams also branded Taoiseach Enda Kenny a “spoofer” over his claims that the former Governor of the Irish Central Bank told him the army may be needed to protect the banks and ATMs at the height financial crisis.

He said the remark was the “type of thing the Taoiseach is prone to say” and referenced Mr Kenny’s controversial claim he met a man with two pints in his hand who complained about water charges.

“All of this tomfoolery, getting carried away with himself, making an ejjit of himself shows the need for practical based, people centred politics,” Mr Adams said.

He also said Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty will be requesting that Mr Kenny and former Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan clarify why this information was not given to the Banking Inquiry when they attended hearings.

Mr Adams denied that he was also a “spoofer” over his claim that he was never in the IRA.

“People can make their judgement on that – I have given my answer,” he said.

Mr Adams said the vote pact with the Right2Change movement “makes sense”.

He said he has been arguing for the need for “progressive forces to coalesce and unite” since he became Sinn Féin president.

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