McDonald to succeed Adams as Sinn Fein leader

FILE PHOTO - Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams, Deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle Gildernew wave on the steps of Government buildings ahead of a meeting with Prime Minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar in Dublin, Ireland June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

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BELFAST (Reuters) - Mary Lou McDonald will succeed Gerry Adams as Sinn Fein leader, the party said on Saturday, completing a generational shift for the Irish nationalist party.

Adams, a pivotal figure in the political life of Ireland for almost 50 years, announced that he would step down as leader of the former political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) last November after over three decades in charge.

McDonald, an English literature graduate from Trinity College Dublin who has been at the forefront of a new breed of Sinn Fein politicians softening the party's image, was the only Sinn Fein lawmaker to put her name forward for the leadership ahead of a special convention next month.


(Reporting by Amanda Ferguson, writing by Padraic Halpin; editing by John Stonestreet)

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