Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams announced yesterday that he will step down from the leadership role as part of the party’s ten year plan.
Adams did not give a time frame for his departure as president, but he did suggest that it was a matter of not “if, but when he will allow someone else to take over as leader,” the Irish Examiner reported.
Speaking with reporters as he arrived at a Sinn Fein think-in in Co. Meath, Adams described his party as “in transition.” The think-in gathered party officials and grassroots members together to develop a strategy for the next decade.
"Part of that will see a change of leadership, but we will come to this. It's a matter for the party. It's a matter of course in the first instance for myself, whether or not I would allow my name to go forward," he said.
“We are a party in transition. I have made it very, very clear. So it isn't question of if I will step down, it’s a question of when I step down and we have a plan."
However, he declined to say when this shift in power would take place, joking with the journalists present that "the problem is if we tell you, you would tell everyone else."
Adams, 67, has been president of Sinn Fein for 33 years, since 1983 – first as an absentionist Westminster MP for Belfast West, then as MLA for Belfast West in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Since 2011, he has served as a TD for Co. Louth in Dáil Éireann.