Sinn Fein names Michelle O'Neill as new leader in Northern Ireland

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 23, 2017 9:15 AM

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Sinn Fein named Michelle O'Neill to succeed Martin McGuinness and lead the Irish nationalist party into Northern Irish elections in March, marking a shift towards a generation not directly involved in decades of conflict.

McGuinness, a key figure throughout five decades of conflict and peace, bowed out of politics last week, saying illness and Northern Ireland's current political crisis had led to him to step down several months earlier than planned.

"It's a huge honor and a big, big privilege for me to be chosen be the new leader in the north and follow in the footsteps of Martin McGuinness, a political giant," O'Neill, 40, said in a video posted on the party's soclai media page.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Angus MacSwan)