Gerry Adams to outline political future at Sinn Féin conference

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Gerry Adams said the party had a plan for “orderly leadership change”

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams is expected to set out a plan to step down from party leadership later.

Mr Adams, who has led Sinn Féin since 1983, will speak at the party’s ard fhéis (annual conference) in Dublin.

It is expected that Mr Adams will not step down immediately but will outline his transition from leadership.

Delegates at the conference have voted in favour of a motion to hold a special ard fhéis three months after the departure of the party president.

The motion will allow for a leadership contest once a vacancy arises.

Abortion vote

Delegates also voted to liberalise the party’s policy on abortion.

Party members voted in favour of allowing abortions where a pregnancy poses a risk to a woman’s health, including mental health.

There will be a referendum on abortion law in the Republic of Ireland in May or June of next year.

Sinn Féin’s previous position supported allowing terminations when a baby is expected to die in the womb or shortly after birth, and in cases of rape or incest.

Currently, the law in the Republic of Ireland only permits abortion when there is a real and substantial risk to a woman’s life. In Northern Ireland, terminations are only legal when continuing with a pregnancy poses a serious or permanent risk to a woman’s health.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin’s Stormont leader has called on the Irish government to appoint a minister with responsibility for advancing Irish unity.

Michelle O’Neill told the party conference that a parliamentary committee in the Republic of Ireland should also be formed to look at a united Ireland.

In September, Mr Adams said he would set out his “future intentions” if re-elected party leader at the conference.

Mr Adams also said that a 10-year plan for “orderly leadership change” was being finalised.

He…

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