Gerard Adams (Irish: Gearóid Mac Ádhaimh; born 6 October 1948) is an Irish republican politician who was the president of Sinn Féin between 13 November 1983 and 10 February 2018, and served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for Louth from 2011 to 2020. From 1983 to 1992 and from 1997 to 2011, he followed the policy of abstentionism as a Member of Parliament (MP) of the British Parliament for the Belfast West constituency. Adams first became involved in Irish republicanism in the late 1960s, and had been an established figure in Irish activism for more than a decade before his 1983 election to Parliament. In 1984, Adams was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt by several gunmen from the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), including John Gregg. From the late 1980s onwards, he was an important figure in the Northern Ireland peace process, entering into talks initially with Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader John Hume and then subsequently with the Irish and British governments. In 1986, he convinced Sinn Féin to change its traditional policy of abstentionism towards the Oireachtas, the parliament of the Republic of Ireland. In 1998, it also took seats in the power-sharing (D'Hondt method) Northern Ireland Assembly. In 2005, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) stated that its armed campaign was over and that it was exclusively committed to peaceful politics.In 2014, Adams was held for four days by the Police Service of Northern Ireland for questioning in connection with the 1972 abduction and murder of Jean McConville. He was released without charge and a file was sent to the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland, which later stated there was insufficient evidence to charge him. Adams announced in November 2017 that he would step down as leader of Sinn Féin in 2018, and that he would not stand for re-election to his seat in Dáil Éireann in 2020. He was succeeded by Mary Lou McDonald at a special ardfheis (party conference) on 10 February 2018.
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