LONDON – Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein is taking a step toward new leadership, as Mary Lou McDonald became the only candidate to replace outgoing leader Gerry Adams.
McDonald, who's currently deputy leader, has been a member of the lower house of the Irish parliament since 2011. The 48-year-old Dublin native will be formally elected at a special party conference in February and will become the party's first ever female leader.
She told party members Saturday that she "won't fill Gerry's shoes. But the news is that I brought my own."
Adams announced in November he was stepping down after 34 years. The 69-year-old is a key figure in the Irish republican movement, which seeks to take Northern Ireland out of the U.K. and unite it with the Republic of Ireland.