Gerry Adams to quit as Sinn Féin leader in 2018
Gerry Adams has announced plans to step down as Sinn Féin leader next year.
Mr Adams, who has held the post since 1983, has also said he will not seek re-election as a TD in the Irish parliament.
The former MP for Belfast West resigned from his Westminster seat to contest the constituency of Louth in the Republic of Ireland in 2011.
In his speech to the party’s Dublin conference, Mr Adams said he had “complete confidence” in the next generation within the Irish republican party.
“I have always seen myself as a team player and a team builder. I have complete confidence in the leaders we elected this weekend and in the next generation of leaders,” he said.
He continued: “I want to thank everyone who has welcomed me into their homes and communities and who have made me part of countless campaigns, countless elections and countless negotiations.”
He added: “Leadership means knowing when it is time for change and that time is now.”
The republican veteran said the Northern Ireland peace process had been one of the party’s “greatest achievements” during his time as leader.
Mr Adams is recognised as an influential figure in shifting the Provisional IRA away from violence in the 1990s and latterly embracing power-sharing with unionist opponents in the Stormont assembly.
He said he would ask the party’s national executive to agree a date in 2018 to elect the next Sinn Féin president.