Monday 24 October 2016

Adams: No truth in five-year retirement plan

Published 20/07/2016 | 02:30

Deputy Eoin Ó Bróin Picture: Tom Burke
Deputy Eoin Ó Bróin Picture: Tom Burke

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

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

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

"Is it going to be happening 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," he said.

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

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 ye, ye 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's leadership was sparked by the intervention of Thomas Anthony McNulty, who heads up the party's Virginia-Mullagh branch in Cavan.

He claimed at the weekend that Mr Adams was hindering Sinn Féin's expansion in the Republic.

Mr McNulty said that when Mr Adams took over the running of the party in 1980s, he supported the transition "because I knew that the years ahead needed the leadership of the Northern men and women under Mr Adams to steer the republican movement from conflict to peace".

But he added that "there is a time for change again in 2016".

Irish Independent

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