Martina Anderson, Pat Doherty and Pearse Doherty outsiders to succeed Gerry Adams as nomination process for Sinn Féin leadership opens

Leadership.
Leadership.

Nominations for the position of Sinn Féin President are being sought before January 19 with Mary Lou McDonald 200/1 on with the bookies to succeed Gerry Adams as the party's leader.

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney MLA has announced that a Special Ard Fheis to elect a new Uachtarán Shinn Féin will take place on February 10 and that the nomination process opened on Monday, January 8.

While Ms. McDonald, Sinn Féin's Deputy Leader is widely expected to succeed Mr. Adams, the bookmaker Paddy Power is offering odds of 20/1 on Pearse Doherty and 125/1 on both Martina Anderson and Pat Doherty becoming the next Sinn Féin leader.

That's in spite of Pearse Doherty having suggested on RTÉ's Morning Ireland last November that he would not be putting his name forward.

Mr. Kearney said: “The special Ard Fheis is now set for Saturday, February 10 in the RDS, Dublin. The nomination process opens today Monday, January and will close on Friday, January 19.

"Regional debates will be organised for candidates to address party members.

"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.

“2018 will be a challenging year for the Irish people. Meaningful talks to restore the political institutions are urgently required to ensure the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement will be a positive point in the history of our island.

“As we move closer to a General Election in the South a step change is needed. The complete failure of the Irish government to deal with the crises in health and housing is intolerable.

"Sinn Féin with a new leader will face into the next general election offering the electorate an opportunity to elect a new government committed to tackling these crises properly.

"We will also continue to deal with the challenges posed by Brexit and build support for designated special status for the North within the EU, as the only realistic alternative to the British Tory plan to deliver a hard Brexit border.

“We look forward to another historic Ard Fheis and a healthy and democratic campaign to elect the next Uachtarán Shinn Féin.”