• STV
  • MySTV

Gerry Adams says 'time is right to step aside' as leader

The politician, who has been at the helm of Sinn Fein since 1983, will quit in 2018.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams

Gerry Adams has told UTV the "time is right" for him to step aside as president of Sinn Féin, after announcing at the party Ard Fheis that he would do so in 2018.

Mr Adams has held the role since 1983, but will not be seeking re-election next year - neither will he be standing in the next Dáil election in the Republic of Ireland.

"It's the right time," he told UTV Deputy Political Editor Tracey Magee, in an interview on Monday.

When asked what he would say to those who claim he may no longer be "front of house", but will still be behind-the-scenes and "pulling the strings", he replied: "They'll say that anyway.

"But mostly the people who say that are political opponents - and they'll say whatever they think advances their own particular little cynical attack on our party."

Whoever is elected to lead Sinn Féin will be the leader.
Gerry Adams

Mr Adams also responded to questions over the perceived glorification of the IRA at Sinn Féin's Ard Fheis and what that mean for talk of reconciliation and respect.

While some of the loudest cheers of the night came when party delegates remembered the late Martin McGuinness as a "proud IRA man", Mr Adams insisted he did not see that as glorification.

"That was a tribute to Martin McGuinness. It was no more or less than that," he said.

Asked if he could ever see a time when he would himself admit to IRA membership - a long-running question - Mr Adams said: "My position on that is very, very clear.

"I have been transparent on the issue. I will never dissociate myself from the IRA."

I don’t dissociate myself from the IRA, neither do I agree with everything the IRA did.
Gerry Adams

On the subject of IRA violence, Mr Adams added: "I particularly regret - particularly regret - the fact that ordinary people, citizens, civilians, were killed or injured at the hands of the IRA."

When asked if he could imagine a time, or a context, in which he and members of the IRA could give the full truth about the organisation's actions, the Sinn Féin leader said: "Well, the IRA's gone.

"So there's not going to be any corporate or organisational response."

He did add that he believed Martin McGuinness "led by example when he went to the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday" and that he hoped he could continue to help those affected by the Troubles to get some form of closure.

Current Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald remains a clear favourite to assume a greater leadership role when Mr Adams eventually steps down as party president.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.