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Sinn Fein John Finucane, candidate Elisha McCallion and Vice President of Sinn Fein Michelle O’Neill beside a mural of the Derry Girls. Sam Boal
Sinn Féin Ard Fheis

Michelle O'Neill re-elected as vice-president of Sinn Féin

More than 2,000 party members had their say over two-days on who should be the deputy leader of the party.

SINN FÉIN’S MICHELLE O’Neill has been re-elected as Sinn Féin’s vice-president.

MLA for Upper Bann John O’Dowd, who has been a member of Sinn Féin for over 30 years, put his name forward for the job at the party’s Ard Fheis this weekend in Derry.

More than 2,000 party members had their say over two-days on who should be the deputy leader of the party.

The result of the ballot was announced this evening ahead of Sinn Féin party leader Mary Lou McDonald’s address at the party conference.

“I am really honoured to have been endorsed by the membership of Sinn Féin and re-elected to the position of Leas-Uachtarán. I am thankful to delegates and members across Ireland who voted for me in this contest,” she said.

“The contest was conducted in a very comradely way across the party where John O’Dowd and I campaigned internally and put forward our platform and vision to the Sinn Féin membership. John is a longstanding republican and a highly regarded colleague and I very much value his political contribution and friendship.

“We are both committed to advancing our party, so that we are fit for purpose as a political movement now and in the future.”

She said Sinn Féin is offering strong alternative politics and policies.

“We are committed to transforming our country and uniting Ireland.

O’Neill first became vice president in January 2018 when McDonald succeeded the retiring Gerry Adams as president.

The party faced some criticism for not holding hustings in the competition.

MP for Fermanagh and South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew told reporters this week that a decision was taken not to hold hustings as members were busy campaigning for by-elections and elections in the North.

Donegal TD Pearse Doherty said the rules of how such a competition would be handled by the party was agreed two years ago at previous party conference, well before this contest, stating that they set out that no hustings will take place.

Both party members denied that O’Dowd was not getting a fair opportunity to contest the party’s vice-presidency.

“Believe you me, both candidates are engaging in a campaign,” Doherty said this week. 

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