Gerry Adams To Stand In Co Louth

The President of Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams, is to step down from his role as a Westminster MP and Stormont MLA to stand for election in the Irish Republic.

He said he hoped to contest the Louth constituency, near the Irish border.

Addressing the Edentubber commemoration in Co Louth at the weekend, he said: "Ireland is at a crossroads. This state is in the midst of a deep economic and social crisis. This Government is probably the most unpopular in the history of the state. It is now implementing bad, deeply damaging policies. It has no mandate whatsoever for this.

"People need to make a stand against what is happening. We need a better way forward for our country and its people," he said.

"As leader of Sinn Fein, I want to be part of the necessary fight-back against bad economic policies in both parts of this island and for a fair, decent and united society for all the people of Ireland.

"As a representative of west Belfast I should be able to do this in the Dáil, but the Irish government refuses to allow this, despite a commitment during the Good Friday Agreement negotiations and subsequently, by the then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern that he would introduce measures to allow speaking rights for MPs from the north," the veteran republican continued.

"So, as Leader of the only all Ireland party with an all-island mandate I have a choice to make whether to stay in west Belfast, a place that I love, or to seek a mandate in another constituency in the south and I have decided to put my name forward for the Louth. If elected for this constituency I will work and stay here and travel home when possible.

"This means that I will be stepping down as an MLA for West Belfast. My replacement will be chosen this week, but I will remain as MP until the next Leinster House election," he explained, as he took part in a commemoration for the 'Edentubber Martyrs' who were killed in a premature explosion during the IRA border campaign over 50 years ago.


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