Thursday 19 October 2017

They talk of youth, but old men still lead Sinn Fein

After a lifetime of calling the shots, Adams and McGuinness won't make way for the young

Old stagers: Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness will dominate yet another Ard Fheis. Photo: Tony Gavin
Old stagers: Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness will dominate yet another Ard Fheis. Photo: Tony Gavin
Ruth Dudley Edwards

Ruth Dudley Edwards

The Sinn Fein rank-and-file get their chance to change their party at next weekend's Ard Fheis. If theirs was a genuinely democratic party rather than a cult, they'd be challenging the old men who've held the party in an iron grip for decades.

I'll admit, if they weren't who they are, I might be pleased to see Gerry Adams (66) and Martin McGuinness (64) raising the banner against ageism. Adams and I are British pensioners and McGuinness (64) is about to join us, but the three of us are still hard at work and have no intention of giving up. Adams will be crowned President of Sinn Fein for the 32nd time at the Ard Fheis next weekend. And McGuinness ain't going anywhere either.

In a recent RTE interview, asked if he would run for re-election to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2016, McGuinness said. "Let us not be ageist about this. I still consider myself fairly young, still consider myself as someone who has a lot to offer."

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