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Nominations for a new Sinn Féin leader open today

The race to succeed Gerry Adams is on. But there appears to be only one front runner in Mary Lou McDonald.

File Photo Sinn Féin's Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said he does not want to lead the party at the present time Sinn Féin TDs Pearse Doherty, Mary Lou McDonald, and president Gerry Adams pictured outside the Davenport Hotel in Dublin in October 2017 Source: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

NOMINATIONS FOR THE new leadership of Sinn Féin will officially open today ahead of the party’s special presidential Ard Fheis next month.

Gerry Adams will be stepping aside from his role after more than 30 years at the helm of the party.

The nomination process will last from today until Friday week, 19 January.

At present, current deputy leader and north Dublin TD Mary Lou McDonald is something of an unbackable odds-on favourite for the position, with fellow Dáil TDs Pearse Doherty and Eoin Ó Broin second and third with the bookmakers at 20/1 and 33/1 respectively.

Leader of Sinn Féin in the North Michelle O’Neill is fourth in the reckoning.

“Regional debates will be organised for candidates to address party members,” said the party’s national chairperson and Northern MLA Declan Kearney, announcing the opening of nominations.

This is an exciting time for Irish Republicans and part of the process of renewal and regeneration in the party.  Sinn Féin wants to build on the political momentum which has resulted in over half a million people voting for our party, and to deliver, in government, the type of real change which they are demanding.

The special Ard Fheis itself will take place on 10 February at the RDS in Dublin.

The republican party has had a rough weekend in the media, after Westminster MP for west Tyrone Barry McElduff posted a video of himself with a packet of Kingsmill bread on his head to Twitter on Friday, the 42nd anniversary of the Kingsmill massacre of 10 Protestant workmen at Kingsmill, Co Armagh.

McElduff has claimed that the posting was a coincidence. His actions have been roundly criticised, particularly in unionist circles.

Read: Call for Protestant burial site to be excavated to examine bodies from mother and baby homes

Read: Saoirse Ronan gets her Golden Globe, and the rest of the night’s big winners

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