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Gerry Adams 'emotional' at standing down as TD in Louth

Gerry Adams Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Gerry Adams. the former Sinn Féin president, has served as a Louth TD for nine years

Gerry Adams has said that he was "emotional" at stepping back as TD for Louth.

The former Sinn Féin president has said will not seek re-election to the Dáil (Irish parliament) in the Republic of Ireland's general election which takes in February.

Mr Adams served as a TD in Louth for nine years and Sinn Féin president from 1983 to 2018.

He was speaking at a party meeting in Dundalk, County Louth.

"As my term as a TD for Louth comes to an end, I have to confess to being emotional about departing after serving the people of this constituency for nine years," said Mr Adams.

"I want to thank all of them and also my comrades in Sinn Féin.

"Throughout my nine years in Louth, my endeavour was to keep a national focus while delivering locally.

"This included developing alternatives to Brexit, advancing the national cause, co-operating with neighbouring border counties and campaigning for projects like Narrow Water Bridge which as recently as last week we succeeded in getting into the 'New Decade, New Approach' agreement, which enabled the re-establishment of the power sharing government at Stormont."

Controversial figure

Mr Adams is one of the most recognisable and controversial figures in Irish politics.

The 71-year-old Belfast native emerged from the turbulent history of Northern Ireland to become one the island's foremost figures in republicanism.

To some he is hailed as a peacemaker, for leading the republican movement away from its long, violent campaign towards peaceful and democratic means.

To others, he is a hate figure who publicly justified murders carried out by the Irish Republican Army (IRA).

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Gerry Adams, pictured here in 2002, has consistently denied that he ever a member of the IRA

The Sinn Féin politician has consistently denied that he was ever a member of the IRA, but has said he will never "disassociate" himself from the organisation.

Mr Adams was elected as MP for West Belfast, following the 1983 general election.

In 1998, he became an MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) for the same constituency.

In January 2011, Gerry Adams formally resigned as West Belfast MP in order to run for election in the Republic of Ireland.

The move was believed to be in response to fears that the party was too narrowly focused on Northern Ireland and needed to boost its all-island strategy.

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