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By-election being held to fill Gerry Adams' Westminster seat

The Sinn Féin president resigned the seat earlier this year in order to run for the Dáil where he now sits as a TD for Louth.

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams
Image: Peter Morrison/AP/Press Association Images

VOTERS IN WEST Belfast are today heading to the polls to select a successor to long-standing Westminster MP Gerry Adams who is now a TD in Dáil Eireann.

The fourth safest seat in the whole of the UK is expected to be filled by Sinn Féin’s Paul Maskey who will replace the party president Adams.

Adams, who did not sit in the House of Commons out of a long-standing party policy of abstentionism, held the West Belfast seat between 1983 and 1992 and 1997 and this year when he stepped down to run for the Irish constituency of Louth.

Adams retained the seat with a whopping 71 per cent share of the vote in the 2010 UK general election.

In February of this year, Adams topped the poll in Louth and was easily elected to lead Sinn Féin and its 13 other deputies in Dáil Eireann.

The Guardian reports that much of the campaign in west Belfast has focused on the decision by Sinn Féin to appoint the killer of a young Catholic woman as a ministerial adviser.

Mary McArdle was part of the IRA gang that shot dead Mary Travers in front of her father and mother in south Belfast in 1984 and is now an adviser to Carál Ní Chuilin who is a the culture minister in the Northern Ireland executive.

The six-way contest also includes Stormont environment minister Alex Attwood for the Social Democratic and Labour Party, Brian Kingston for the Democratic Unionist Party, Bill Manwaring for the Ulster Unionist Party, Aaron McIntryre for the Alliance Party and Gerry Carroll for People Before Profit.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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