Thursday 5 December 2019

Changing of guard won't solve all of SF's problems

'The easy option is to bring Adams back to Belfast and return him to Stormont as the de facto leader, while putting one of the younger figures forward as Deputy First Minister, with Adams shadowing the party in the background.' Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
'The easy option is to bring Adams back to Belfast and return him to Stormont as the de facto leader, while putting one of the younger figures forward as Deputy First Minister, with Adams shadowing the party in the background.' Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Editorial

Editorial

Speaking of things that haven't gone away: Gerry Adams remains in command of Sinn Féin.

Command being the operative term, of course, for the long-serving leader of the republican movement of Sinn Féin-IRA.

The sad illness of Martin McGuinness leaves a huge void in Sinn Féin and leaves Adams as the sole leader of the party, as their double act will end.

McGuinness has done a considerable job of leading the party at Stormont, particularly in recent years when the relationship with the other parties has deteriorated.

His departure will raise fundamental questions about the future leadership of Sinn Féin. With McGuinness's exit, will there be a passing of the torch to the next generation? And will Adams also leave the stage?

The easy option is to bring Adams back to Belfast and return him to Stormont as the de facto leader, while putting one of the younger figures forward as Deputy First Minister, with Adams shadowing the party in the background.

It's not as if Adams makes much of a contribution to the party's performance in the Dáil anyway so he wouldn't be missed. Mary Lou McDonald or Pearse Doherty would fill his role as leader in the Republic, although the stardust has drifted from both after years of defending Adams's record on IRA atrocities and cover-ups of Provo sex abuse.

And a changing of the guard won't enhance Sinn Féin's credibility on those fronts.

Irish Independent

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