Michelle O’Neill re-elected as deputy leader of Sinn Féin

O’Neill took over as party’s leader in Northern Ireland in 2017

Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill: ‘Sinn Féin is offering strong alternative politics and policies to all of these challenges with confidence and success.’ Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill: ‘Sinn Féin is offering strong alternative politics and policies to all of these challenges with confidence and success.’ Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

 

Michelle O’Neill was re-elected as Sinn Féin deputy leader, seeing off the challenge from Upper Bann Assembly member John O’Dowd, it was announced at the party ardfheis in the Millennium Forum in Derry on Saturday night.

No details of the vote were given.

Ms O’Neill, who took over as Sinn Fein’s Northern leader in January 2017 and as deputy leader in February last year, said she was “really honoured to have been endorsed by the membership”.

While there was comment that there was were no hustings and little Sinn Féin discussion about the election Ms O’Neill said “the contest was conducted in a very comradely way across the party where John O’Dowd and I campaigned internally and put forward our platform and vision to the Sinn Féin membership”.

‘Growth and development’

“John is a long-standing republican and a highly regarded colleague and I very much value his political contribution and friendship. We are both committed to advancing our party, so that we are fit for purpose as a political movement now and in the future,” she said.

“Working alongside Mary Lou McDonald and our senior team I want to maximise the positive growth and development of the party across Ireland. It’s our ambition to drive a progressive political agenda for change across Ireland,” said Ms O’Neill.

She added, “At this time we face many challenges with a Tory Brexit, austerity and no Assembly in place in the North and a weak government being propped up by Fianna Fáil in Dublin. Sinn Féin is offering strong alternative politics and policies to all of these challenges with confidence and success.”