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'Michael D is a formidable president': Adams says Sinn Féin was never going to win Áras election

Adams says that Sinn Féin did not engage with its voters.

Image: Rollingnews

FORMER LEADER OF Sinn Féin Gerry Adams has said he believes the party “called it wrong” during the presidential election campaign by not engaging with its voters. 

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One this morning, Adams said that Liadh Ní Riada was a “formidable candidate” but that the party was “never going to win”. 

“I think we called it wrong in that we didn’t engage our own people.”

Ní Riada came in third place during October’s presidential campaign receiving 6.4% of the vote, while Michael D Higgins won a second presidential term with 55.8%. 

Sinn Féín party leader Mary Lou McDonald has previously said she did not regret running Ni Riada in the race but was disappointed that the party did not poll more strongly. 

Adams believes that the party’s poor performance at the polls was due to a lack of engagement. 

What was interesting was the exit poll said up to 18 or 19% of those who had voted for Michael D would vote for Sinn Féinn in another election.  So we called it wrong in that we didn’t engage our own vote.

When asked by Ryan Tubridy what he would have done to engage voters, Adams said he didn’t know exactly but knows the issue was that people did not see it as a regular presidential election.  

“We didn’t get people engaged because they didn’t see it as an election which would deal with housing, homelessness, health services, with any of those issues. 

“And just to be fair, Michael D is a formidable president. We were never going to win,” Adams said. 

He continued that while Higgins was a strong candidate he believes that votes lost during the election will come back to Sinn Féin.

The Louth TD told Tubridy that he was “not in the least” bit interested in running himself during the election adding he has been honoured to be in public office for “longer than I like to recall”.

Adams stepped down as leader of Sinn Féin earlier this year and said this morning that once the Taoiseach calls an election that’s him done. 

Sinn é. 

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Adam Daly

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