LONDON – Michelle O'Neill has been named as the new leader of the Sinn Fein party in Northern Ireland.
The party said Monday she will replace Martin McGuinness, who resigned in early January due to ill health. O'Neill has been serving as health minister for Sinn Fein. She will now assume the role of party leader.
The 40-year-old from County Tyrone called her new post "a huge honor."
She will be the first Sinn Fein leader from the generation that entered politics after the Irish Republican Army halted its armed struggle against British rule in Northern Ireland.
Former IRA leader McGuinness called O'Neill a woman of great ability.