Gerry Adams confirms he will step down as president of Sinn Féin

Gerry Adams confirms he will step down as president of Sinn Féin

The 69-year-old politician was due to deliver the news that he would finish his membership to the party at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis after 34 long years as leader.

Earlier today, there were reports suggesting that the politician would retire and the politician confirmed the news in an address at the Ard Fheis earlier today.

The politician has been a member since 1983 and has seen the party go through numerous challenges during their existence – namely the Troubles.

Adams said today that he will resign as president of the Sinn Féin party in 2018, nor would he run in the next Dáil election.

According to The Journal, the long-serving politician said it was time for younger Sinn Féin politicians to assume power: "I’m very proud to have served as Uachtarán. Last year, myself and Martin said there was a plan for change. I thought I needed to tell you….I have been privileged to be part of an amazing leadership.

"One of our greatest achievements has been to build a peace process. I will not be standing for the Dáil neither will Martin Ferris. This is also my last Ard Fheis. I’ll be asking the new Ard Comhairle to agree a date in 2018 to elect our next Uachtarán."

Adams’ position of leader is expected to be filled by current deputy leader of the party and MP for Dublin Mary Lou McDonald.

It was reported earlier on that Irish republican sources say that Adams will still lead the party from behind the scenes, with Adams’ announcement of retiring being dubbed by analysts as a move to improve the electoral chances of the party in the Republic of Ireland.