Munster MEP and daughter of composer Seán Ó Riada has been named as party’s candidate for presidency.

Liadh Ní Riada has said that she will help to lead public debate on Irish unity if she is successful in her bid to become the next president.

As her nomination was announced, Ní Riada, who has been MEP for Ireland South since 2014, said she would be an "energetic" president.

“My vision for a new Ireland is a pluralist and inclusive one,” she said, according to the Irish Times. “A United Ireland that respects the identities and traditions of all."

“I will be a positive voice for Irish unity, leading by example and demonstrating the outreach and inclusivity needed to bring the people of this island together. If I am president, Áras an Uachtaráin will be a welcoming house for all.”

I'm deeply honoured to be selected by @sinnfeinireland to be a candidate for President of Ireland. For those who haven't met me, this is my story. I look forward w/ great energy & enthusiasm to meeting, listening & sharing ideas w/people in the days ahead https://t.co/Q9HvAvLnDW

— Liadh Ní Riada MEP (@LiadhNiRiadaMEP) September 16, 2018

On the subject of Brexit,  Ní Riada said “Ireland today is in transition” and that Brexit would have “a major impact on our political and constitutional future."

“Increasingly the prospect, shape and nature of a United Ireland will be a feature of public discussion and political decision making. As president, I will initiate an inclusive citizens’ conversation on a future united Ireland.”

The 51-year-old politician reportedly has a background in television production, and ran her own production company, Red Shoe Productions. She was also a founding member of the board that established Irish language TV station, TG4.

Ní Riada's father is the late Irish composer Seán Ó Riada, who died when she was four. The Irish Times writes that her mother died when she was 10 and she was was raised by her siblings. 

A look at the career of Liadh Ní Riada, who has been selected by Sinn Féin to run as the party's candidate in the presidential election pic.twitter.com/PnPF8l7hsk

— RTÉ News (@rtenews) September 16, 2018

She has said in the past that she was inspired to move into politics by her first husband, Fiachra Ó hAodha, who died just 10 months after their wedding.

The Dublin native first joined Sinn Féin as an Irish language officer in 2011.

She now lives in the Muskerry Gaeltacht in Cork with her husband and three children.

In a profile of Ní Riada's "rapid ascent" Deputy Political Editor Fiach Kelly writes, 

"Ms Ní Riada is a further example of how Ms [Mary Lou] McDonald wants to change the party’s image. With Ms McDonald as leader and Michelle O’Neill heading Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland, Ms Ní Riada’s candidacy shows a party keen to emphasise that it is led by women and eager to debate issues of concern to modern Ireland."

Sinn Féin has confirmed that MEP Liadh Ní Riada will be its candidate in the Irish presidential election.https://t.co/0xlBEWBZrn pic.twitter.com/b2PSOF3g3C

— UTV (@utv) September 16, 2018

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