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Mary Lou's Sinn Féin leadership bid has one very important supporter

The Sinn Féin leader has given his backing to his deputy.

14/4/2015 Sinn Fein Gay Marriage Equality Referendums Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams Source: RollingNews.ie

GERRY ADAMS HAS said he would “of course” support a bid from Mary Lou McDonald for the leadership of Sinn Féin when he steps down.

The long-serving Sinn Féin president said today that the people who would make that decision are the party members at the annual Ard Fheis.

Adams said he would “of course” support McDonald, the current deputy leader, or anyone outside of the Northern leadership of Sinn Féin if they ran to succeed him.

McDonald said earlier this week that there is currently no leadership vacancy.

Adams was responding to a Sunday Times report which claimed the IRA will play a key role in the selection of the next Sinn Féin leader.

The paper said the organisation is understood to not favour McDonald, who was raised in south Dublin and was not involved in the IRA or the Troubles.

Last week, a British intelligence report found that the Provisional IRA remains in existence but in a much-reduced form. It said that IRA members believe the organisation’s Army Council controls Sinn Féin with an “overarching strategy”.

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The Sinn Féin leadership has repeatedly maintained that the IRA no longer exists, with Adams saying it has “left the stage”.

Speaking at Leinster House today, the Louth TD said the membership would pick his successor:

The people who will take that decision, as it does every year, will be the Ard Fheis.

On whether his own 33 years in the top job was healthy for the party, Adams insisted:

That’s a matter for the party, that’s entirely democratic, anybody who wants to put their name forward [can].

He joked at the journalist asking the question that they were welcome to join Sinn Féin and put their name forward for the leadership if they wished.

Gerry Adams: The Taoiseach is a spoofer who is making an eejit of himself

Read: Mary Lou says Sinn Féin members – and not the IRA – will pick next leader

Read: The next leader of Sinn Féin, from most to least likely

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Hugh O'Connell

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