Michelle O'Neill to become Sinn Fein deputy leader
Sinn Féin’s special conference to elect a new leadership will be little more than a coronation for Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill.
Nominations for the position of vice-president closed last night with just one nominations.
Ms O’Neill is now the vice-president elect and her appointment will be confirmed alongside that of Ms McDonald as president on February 10.
Sinn Féin had offered its membership the opportunity to put forward alternative nominees but it was cleared that the two women were the preferred candidates.
Ms McDonald, the current vice-president, will take over from Gerry Adams who was the unopposed leader since 1983.
In a statement tonight, Ms O’Neill said she was “honoured” to be the sole candidate as the party enters “a new political era”.
“Sinn Féin wants to be in government north and south to deliver high quality public services on the basis of equality, rights, and prosperity,” she said.
“We will continue to work against the twin threats of Brexit across the whole island and British Government austerity in the North.
“Our priority is to continue the growth and development of Sinn Féin as a national political movement for Irish Unity and an agreed Ireland.”