Gerry Adams has confirmed that he intends to stand down as the President of Sinn Fein in 2018. Adams, aged 69, has held the position since 1983 and he also confirmed that he will not stand again in the elections for the Irish Dail, or Parliament.
“Leadership means knowing when it’s time for change and that time is now”.
Speaking on RTE, Adams added:
“I won’t miss [the Dail] at all. I think it’s a small cosy little club. I think it has all of the worst aspects of the old British system”.
No agreement has been reached following power sharing talks in Northern Ireland after the elections which were held on 2 March 2017. The two largest parties in the Assembly, Sinn Fein and the DUP, failed to reach agreement and have blamed each other for the delay, with the deadline for agreement now exceeded.
Nigel Dodds, the Deputy Leader of the DUP, said:
“It is very clear from the people they had at the talks that they were very focused on their southern election prospects, that is deeply regrettable”.
Gerry Adams, the President of Sinn Fein, said:
“The DUP’s approach thus far has been to engage in a minimalist way on all of the key issues, including legacy issues, an Irish Language Act, a Bill of Rights, and marriage equality”.
James Brokenshire, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, has said that he will continue to try to reach agreement with the major parties in the process. He said on Sunday 26 March 2017:
“I have spoken to the Prime Minister this afternoon and this remains the UK government’s continuing priority”.
The Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) have confirmed that they will be withdrawing from the Northern Ireland Executive. The decision comes following the murder of Kevin McGuigan which the Police Service of Northern Ireland said was committed by members of the Provisional IRA.
Mike Nesbitt, the leader of the UUP, said that he supported the decision to withdraw from the Executive. He added that:
“Sinn Fein no credibility and we have no trust and without trust we have nothing”.
Theresa Villiers, the Northern Ireland Secretary, said:
“This is a matter for the Ulster Unionist Party who take their own decisions. The Government remains fully committed to the devolved political institutions and to the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement. Over the coming days, I shall be continuing my discussions with the parties about fallout from the murder of Kevin McGuigan”.
Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein, had previously said:
“The IRA has gone and is not coming back”.