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Adams steps down as Sinn Fein leader after 34 years

10 February 2018

Around 2,000 delegates are expected to gather at the conference for the ratification of Mrs McDonald as the next party president.

She told BBC NI: "I really don't have the political space in my head - and I don't think anyone should - to engage in the delusional silliness of individual ramblings that people have about the past". "To win elections, to increase our political strength, to realise our ambition of being in government north and south, to win progressive political victories every single day, and ultimately to win Irish unity", she said.

On Britain's upcoming departure from the European Union, or Brexit, she said Sinn Fein will not accept any deal that reinstates border controls between Northern Ireland and the Republic. "Irish unity in our time".

He said he had simply tried to do his best during his decades at the helm.

"I am a very good dancer, I sing extremely well, I am a half-decent cook, I have written a wee bit, I like walking, but I'm comfortable in my own skin and I am surrounded by some wonderful people, a great family, my wife, people who love me".

"It took nearly from 1976/77 to 1994 before there was the first cessation", he said, of the 1994 ceasefire.

Mr Adams has said he regrets that it took until 1994 for the first IRA ceasefire, a sentiment which will be shared by all those who lost a loved one or experienced trauma and terror during those dark years.

"That's an very bad long time and a lot of people were killed or injured and traumatised in between".

Mr Adams said: "I'm not saying there is a direct correlation between Brexit and Irish unity - and in fact I think those of us who want a United Ireland need to be very careful that we are not accused of trying to exploit Brexit".

He said: "I haven't said that the leading members of the civil rights movement at that point and time were exclusively IRA or Sinn Fein activists".

Her coronation represents a break from the party's links to the IRA, responsible for more than 1,700 deaths during the unrest, and a renewed focus on social issues.

Ms Mc Donald has been TD for Dublin Central since 2011.

Adams steps down as Sinn Fein leader after 34 years