No one can fill Adams' shoes, says new Sinn Fein chief

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Mary Lou McDonald will take over Sinn Fein party leadership from Gerry Adams it has been confirmed this morning.


She told party members Saturday that she "won't fill Gerry's shoes".

"But I have brought my own shoes and together, with all of the party membership, we will walk on a journey that will lead to Irish unity".

In Belfast, Mr Adams, the Sinn Fein party president for three decades, said: 'We need to have a party that's fit for goal, we need to have a plan. The 69-year-old is a key figure in the Irish republican movement, which seeks to take Northern Ireland out of the U.K. and unite it with the Republic of Ireland.

Before getting elected to the Dáil, she was an MEP representing the Dublin constituency - becoming Sinn Fein's first MEP in the Republic of Ireland in 2004.

Many party members have been tweeting their support for Ms McDonald.

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Mr Adams added: "Separate development and negative divisions are not good for our community".

Sinn Féin's ard comhairle will meet in Belfast today as part of preparations for the ard fheis, where they will also formally ratify the nominee for president and are expected to discuss whether to open nominations for vice-president. "Leadership means knowing when it is time for change and that time is now", said the 69-year-old Adams at the time.

She also said: "I believe we are capable of achieving anything that we set our minds to".

The sentiments will be noted by the British and Irish governments with political negotiations due to recommence in Stormont next Wednesday.

"Standing still is not an option".