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I'll run for SF leader again despite what Sinead says, vows Gerry Adams

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New Sinn Fein recruit Sinead O'Connor urged Gerry Adams to stand down

New Sinn Fein recruit Sinead O'Connor urged Gerry Adams to stand down

Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams

Sinead O'Connor

Sinead O'Connor

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New Sinn Fein recruit Sinead O'Connor urged Gerry Adams to stand down

SINN Fein president Gerry Adams has rejected a call by Sinead O'Connor for party elders like himself to step down and revealed he will run again as party leader at its next annual meeting.

"We have an Ard Fheis coming up in the spring of next year. I intend to stand again for party president and anyone who wants to stand against me is very, very welcome to do that," Mr Adams said at his party's national executive meeting yesterday.

Nothing Compares 2 U singer O'Connor announced earlier this month that she had joined the party.

Mr Adams said there is a "process" to becoming a member, which the singer is now engaged in.

"It isn't a matter of people joining the party automatically. There's a process which everybody has to go through, and that process is nothing to do with me. It is one that Sinead is engaged in at this time," he told the Herald.

Explaining his decision to stand as party leader once again, Mr Adams said that while he is always welcome to new members, the leadership role require experience.

Challenge

"We have work to do, given the multiplicity of challenges facing the party, north and south; trying to oppose austerity, while pursuing a united Ireland project; and trying to make friends with our unionist neighbours. It needs a lot of young people, but it also needs experienced people as well."

O'Connor took to Facebook earlier in December to reveal she was joining Sinn Fein and immediately called on the party's "elders" to step down.

"I might not even be the kind of person they want, because I'm gonna write here that I feel the elders of Sinn Fein are going to have to make 'the supreme sacrifice' and step down shortly in the same way the last Pope did.

"There'd be a zillion per cent increase in membership of Sinn Fein if the leadership were handed over to those born from 1983/1985 onward and no one associated in people's minds with frightful things," she claimed.

Mr Adams also said his party will oppose any cuts to the State pension, as suggested by officials at the Department of Public Expenditure yesterday.

But he said the Government is "welded to austerity" and admitted it could happen.

hnews@herald.ie


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