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New gaffe as Adams makes U-turn on his leadership 'mistake'

By John Downing

Published 12/05/2016

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams has admitted that he made a mistake after he was asked if he would be leading Sinn Fein into the next Irish general election.

Mr Adams  was asked on Newstalk Radio on Tuesday if he expected to lead Sinn Fein into the next general election.

He said it all depended when the next election would be held.

But by yesterday he was telling a different story, when again asked the same question.

"I made a mistake - I will lead the party into the next general election," he told reporters at Leinster House.

Mr Adams, who is aged 67 and has led Sinn Fein since 1983, said he had no idea how long the current minority coalition would last. "I don't know. Sometimes a government not expected to last can last much longer than expected," he said. But he insisted it must not be allowed to last a full five-year term.

After February's election produced no clear-cut winner, Fine Gael finally formed a minority administration 63 days after the election by striking a deal with Fianna Fail.

Mr Adams' mistake was his second major blunder since the start of the month. He caused outrage by using the 'n-word' on Twitter while watching Quentin Tarantino movie Django Unchained.

Mr Adams yesterday announced his new front bench team in Dublin which will shadow the incoming Irish ministers. He brushed aside suggestions the new line-up is effectively a demotion for senior party members - especially deputy leader Mary-Lou McDonald and long-time TD Caoimhghin O Caolain.

Ms McDonald moves from speaking on jobs and enterprise to be spokesperson on mental health and suicide prevention. Mr O Caolain, the former parliamentary leader of Sinn Fein in the Dail, moves from health to disability and older people.

Mr Adams will shadow the Taoiseach, while Dublin Mid-West TD Eoin O Broin - a former Belfast City councillor - will speak on housing, planning and local government.

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