Gerry Adams admits mistake about next election leadership

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has admitted he “made a mistake” when he said he would resign as party leader ahead of the next general election.

The 67-year-old Louth TD was asked last Tuesday on radio if he expected to lead Sinn Féin into the next general election.

Mr Adams responded to Newstalk’s Jonathan Healy by saying that it all depended when the next election would be held.

But a press conference yesterday to announce his new front bench, Mr Adams declared a mea culpa.

“I made a mistake — I will lead the party into the next general election,” he told reporters at Leinster House.

Mr Adams has led Sinn Féin since 1983, said he had no idea how long the minority coalition would last.

“I don’t know. Sometimes a government not expected to last can last much longer than expected,” he said.

He again accused Fianna Fáil of “playing for time” in abstaining to allow the arrangement to take office.

Mr Adams strongly denied suggestions that the new line-up is an effective demotion for senior party members, especially Mary-Lou McDonald and Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin.

This is because new faces have been elevated to senior portfolios while long standing TDs have been moved sideways or backward.

Ms McDonald movesto spokesperson on mental health and suicide prevention, and requested the move, Mr Adams said.

Mr Ó Caoláin moves to disability and older people.

Promoted first timers include Louise O’Reilly who is the party’s health spokeswoman, Carol Nolan who is the new Education spokeswoman and Eoin O’Broin who is the party’s new spokesman on Housing.


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