Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams laid out plans to stand down after more than three decades at the helm of the party, which campaigns for a united Ireland.
But the party he leaves is not only the dominant Irish nationalist force in the British-ruled province, but also strong enough across the border in the Irish Republic to have a chance of entering government there, too.
He spoke about challenges to human rights in Northern Ireland because of Brexit, and because of the deal between Theresa May and Sinn Fein's unionist opponents, the DUP.
In his address at the party's annual conference on Saturday, Adams said this will be his a year ago as its leader and that he will not be a candidate in the next elections, Efe news reported. A year later, he helped win skeptical elements in the I.R.A.to support the Good Friday peace deal, which largely ended the violence.
He said he would ask the party's national executive to agree on a date in 2018 to elect the next Sinn Fein president.
Between 1988 and 1994, Adams was banned from speaking on British airwaves. Television stations instead dubbed his voice with that of an actor.
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has joined Snapchat in a bid to get down with the cool kids.
But Adams was at the time walking a political tightrope - between IRA "hawks" who argued that only a continuation of violence would chase Britain from the island, and "doves" who said that negotiations were the route to a united Ireland.
He and his party emerged from the political cold in October 1997 when he shook hands with Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair at their first meeting.
While its anti-austerity platform led to a six-fold increase in its number of seats in the Republic - 23 out of 158 - suspicion of Sinn Fein's role in the Northern Ireland troubles still runs deep and the far larger ruling Fine Gael and or main opposition Fianna Fail have ruled out governing alongside them.
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