LONDON – Gerry Adams has announced that he plans to step down as leader of Sinn Fein next year after heading the party for over 30 years.
Adams said in a speech at the party's annual conference in Dublin on Saturday that he will not stand for the next Irish parliamentary election.
The 69-year-old has been party president of Sinn Fein, Northern Ireland's second-largest party, since 1983.
A divisive figure, some have denounced Adams as a terrorist while others hail him as a peacemaker, known around the world as the face of Ireland's republican movement during its shift from violence to peace.
Adams has been accused of being a senior member of the Irish Republican Army, a claim he has long denied.
The party is expected to elect a successor next year.