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Gerry Adams TD?



By Anthony Neeson

Nov. 17-23, 2010


Gerry Adams has caused political shockwaves by announcing that he is to step down as MLA and MP for West Belfast to stand for a seat in the Dáil.

The Sinn Féin President made his announcement at the annual Edentubber commemoration in County Louth on Sunday - the constituency that he intends to contest.

Adams has resigned as MLA for West Belfast with immediate effect, with his successor selected on Tuesday night. He will remain as MP for the area until the Irish general election is called.

Sinn Féin currently has four TDs in Leinster House. Last month, Sinn Féin’s Louth TD Arthur Morgan revealed that he would not seek the party’s nomination for the next general election in the constituency and would instead concentrate on his family business.

Speaking at the weekend commemoration in Louth, Adams said he took his decision in order to “make a stand” against the economic policies being implemented in the South and to “show leadership.”

“Ireland is at a crossroads. This state is in the midst of a deep economic and social crisis. This government

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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,” said Adams.

“There is a better way. Together we can rebuild Ireland. People need to make a stand against what is happening. We need a better way forward for our country and its people.

“All this imposes a huge responsibility on those of us in positions of political leadership. In the past I have asked people to step forward and to show leadership. I have asked people to make a stand. I believe that it is my duty at this critical time to step forward and do what I have asked of others.”

The Sinn Féin President said a failure to introduce speaking rights for Northern MPs in the Dáil that was agreed as part of the Good Friday Agreement negotiations had forced him to make a choice between representing West Belfast and fighting economic policy in the South.

“As leader of Sinn Féin, 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,” he said.

“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.

“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. West Belfast is my home. It is where Colette and our family are and where I live.

“But after thoughtful consideration, and with the support of colleagues, I have decided to put my name forward for Louth. If elected for this constituency I will work and stay there 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. I am proud and honored to have represented the people of West Belfast in the Assembly. I will remain as MP until the next Leinster House election.”

Adams was first elected MP for West Belfast in 1983 and has held the seat since then, except between 1992-97 when it was held by the SDLP’s Joe Hendron. His

decision to stand in Louth is being viewed as high risk by political commentators as it could mark the end of his political career if he fails to win a seat.

By Anthony Neesonaneeson@irishecho.com
Gerry Adams has caused political shockwaves by announcing that he is to step down as MLA and MP for West Belfast to stand for a seat in the Dáil.The Sinn Féin President made his announcement at the annual Edentubber commemoration in County Louth on Sunday - the constituency that he intends to contest.Adams has resigned as MLA for West Belfast with immediate effect, with his successor selected on Tuesday night. He will remain as MP for the area until the Irish general election is called.Sinn Féin currently has four TDs in Leinster House. Last month, Sinn Féin’s Louth TD Arthur Morgan revealed that he would not seek the party’s nomination for the next general election in the constituency and would instead concentrate on his family business.Speaking at the weekend commemoration in Louth, Adams said he took his decision in order to “make a stand” against the economic policies being implemented in the South and to “show leadership.”“Ireland is at a crossroads. This state is in the midst of a deep economic and social crisis. This government See ADAMS, Page 2AdamsContinued from Page 1
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,” said Adams. “There is a better way. Together we can rebuild Ireland. People need to make a stand against what is happening. We need a better way forward for our country and its people. “All this imposes a huge responsibility on those of us in positions of political leadership. In the past I have asked people to step forward and to show leadership. I have asked people to make a stand. I believe that it is my duty at this critical time to step forward and do what I have asked of others.” The Sinn Féin President said a failure to introduce speaking rights for Northern MPs in the Dáil that was agreed as part of the Good Friday Agreement negotiations had forced him to make a choice between representing West Belfast and fighting economic policy in the South. “As leader of Sinn Féin, 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,” he said. “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. “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. West Belfast is my home. It is where Colette and our family are and where I live. “But after thoughtful consideration, and with the support of colleagues, I have decided to put my name forward for Louth. If elected for this constituency I will work and stay there 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. I am proud and honored to have represented the people of West Belfast in the Assembly. I will remain as MP until the next Leinster House election.” Adams was first elected MP for West Belfast in 1983 and has held the seat since then, except between 1992-97 when it was held by the SDLP’s Joe Hendron. Hisdecision to stand in Louth is being viewed as high risk by political commentators as it could mark the end of his political career if he fails to win a seat.