Page last updated at 17:38 GMT, Thursday, 8 January 2009

Doherty stands down in reshuffle

Pat Doherty
Mr Doherty had held the position of party vice president since 1988

Sinn Féin MP and MLA Pat Doherty is to step down from his role as the party's vice president. He has held the position for 20 years.

Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald will stand for the role at next month's Ard Fhéis.

The move is part of a reshuffle which will see the promotion of a number of party members from the Republic of Ireland to leading positions.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said Mr Doherty would stay on as both MP and MLA for West Tyrone.

"He has been a consistent part of our leadership in good times and bad since the 1970s," said Mr Adams.

"I have no doubt he will continue to play a leadership role, in particular on our United Ireland Taskforce."

Mr Adams said the party's aim was to become "fit for purpose everywhere on the island".

Mr Doherty said "Ireland had been transformed" during his time as vice president.

"I am very proud to have held the position since 1988 and to have been part of a republican leadership which has been responsible for so much positive change on the island," he said.

"There is also a duty on republicans to complete the task of bringing about Irish reunification. Sinn Féin has established a taskforce to bring focus and urgency to this task.

"The importance of this work cannot be underestimated and I intend to play as full a role as possible on this taskforce."

At the party's Ard Fhéis in February, Mr Adams will stand again as party president, Mary Lou McDonald will run for vice president, Declan Kearney for party chairperson, Dawn Doyle for general secretary and Maurice Quinlivan and Rita O'Hare as joint party treasurers.

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