LONDON: Gerry Adams has announced he is stepping down as President of Sinn Fein, once the political arm of the now inactive Irish Republican Army (IRA), after 34 years in charge of the party, a media report said.
In his address at the party's annual conference on Saturday, Adams said this will be his last year as its leader and that he will not be a candidate in the next elections, Efe news reported.
"Leadership means knowing when it is time for change and that time is now."
Adams noted that the party will hold a special meeting next year to elect his successor.
Adams, 69, a member of the Irish Parliament for Louth County, has been the President of Sinn Fein since 1983.
"I have always seen myself as a team player and a team builder."
Sinn Fein has achieved solid progress in the Republic of Ireland, according to the latest opinion polls.
Mary Lou McDonald, 48, is considered the clear favourite to take Adams's place.