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Gerry Adams expected to set out his 'future intentions' at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis this weekend

Adams told the media this week that nothing in his speech this Saturday will impact on the talks in Northern Ireland.

SINN FEIN 74_90529428 Leader of Sinn Féin in the Northern Ireland Assembly Michelle O'Neill; Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams TD and Mary Lou McDonald. Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

SINN FÉIN LEADER Gerry Adams is to set out his “future intentions” tomorrow at the party’s Ard Fheis in the RDS in Dublin.

Last September he said he would detail the party’s planned “process of generational change” which is part of the party’s ten-year plan on an “orderly leadership change” drawn up with the help of Martin McGuinness.

This will be the first party Ard Fheis since the death of McGuinness in March of this year. It’s understood a tribute will be held for McGuinness over the weekend.

Adams is to seek re-election as party president this weekend, but it’s understood a timeline for his departure from the helm of the party will be outlined.

Gearing up ahead of his speech on Saturday, Adams has decided to join snapchat “where are all the cool people hangout”.

Adams told the media this week that nothing in his speech this Saturday will impact on the talks in Northern Ireland, which have reached an impasse this week.

The speech, which is being kept under lock and key, will be aired live on RTÉ at 8.30pm tomorrow night.

6/3/2010 Sinn Fein Ard Fheis Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams Sinn Fein party leader in 2010. Source: Rollingnews.ie

There are a number of interesting motions the party will vote on this weekend, including whether the party will agree to go into government as a junior partner. It is likely this will pass, as in recent months there has been a step-change within the party, which have conceded that it is open to being a minority in government.

Junior partner in government

In an interview with TheJournal.ie in January of this year, Mary Lou McDonald said Sinn Féin is very much aware that minority parties in past coalition governments ended up in the political wilderness, seeing their seats plummet during the following campaign.

“What we don’t want is to be in government just for the thrill of it, for the personal advancement of it. We don’t want to be in a government that actually can’t keep faith and deliver on things that really matter to people.

“We are conscience of the fact that in previous coalition arrangements, different parties have really failed to carry their politics and deliver.

Of course it is a concern. You would have to be incredibly foolish not to have that concern… But that is not to say we don’t want to be in government, of course we do.

What party is willing to go into government with Sinn Féin remains to be seen with both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil ruling them out as potential partners in government.

Party policy on abortion is also likely to undergo a significant change.

The Eighth Amendment

Previously, Sinn Fein passed a number of motions allowing for abortion in the case of fatal foetal abnormalities.

Delegates also voted last year for the Eighth amendment of the Constitution to be repealed.

There are eight motions on abortion tabled this year.

A motion from its governing Ard Chomhairle calls for the party to reaffirm its commitment to repealing of the Eighth Amendment and for the availability of abortion to be permitted where a woman’s life, health or mental health is at serious risk or in grave danger, and in cases of fatal foetal abnormality and in the case of rape or sexual abuse.

The motions come just a few days after the party’s housing spokesperson Eoin O’Broin hit out at his party colleague Peadar Tóibín for his suggestion that the Oireachtas Committee examining the Eighth Amendment was biased.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics programme last weekend, Tóibín criticised the balance of the witnesses giving testimony at the committee.

Other motions to be voted on included calling on the government to commit to delivering 100,000 social housing units, the restoration of town councils, for legislation to ensure safety roll bars are a requirement on all quad bikes, and calls to introduce the compulsory fitting of dash-cams on all new motor vehicles, to name but a few.

There are also numerous motions on Brexit, Northern Ireland and the border issue.

One motion calls for the “re-invigoration” of the National Councillors Forum, which represents the views of councillors within party structures including the Ard Chomhairle.

There is also a call to roll out a series of training, education and policy briefings to assist and support councillors.

A motion from Cork City branch calls for the Ard Chomhairle to initiate an urgent review the current membership policies including recruitment, education and retention of new members. These motions come in the wake of a number of bullying allegations levelled against the organisation in recent times.

The Sinn Féin Ard Fheis kicks off today. Follow our political reporter @christinafinn8 and @TJ_Politics for the updates over the weekend. 

Read: Sinn Féin TD says people need ‘Minister Joe Duffy’ to get action on harassment and bullying claims>

Read: Sinn Féin councillor resigns, claiming he was subjected to ‘litany of bullying behaviour’>

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