Page last updated at 08:26 GMT, Monday, 16 November 2009

Republican party picks new leader

Des Dalton
Des Dalton is the new leader of Republican Sinn Fein

The political party believed to be linked to the dissident republican paramilitary group, the Continuity IRA, has chosen a new leader.

Des Dalton from Athy, County Kildare, was elected at the Republican Sinn Fein party conference at the weekend.

The party was formed after splitting from Sinn Fein in 1986 and had been led by Ruairi O'Bradaigh since then.

Mr O'Bradaigh, who is 76, announced in September that he was standing down, citing reasons of age and health.

Mr Dalton has been a member of Republican Sinn Fein since 1989 and has been a vice-president of the party since 2003

Republican Sinn Fein is a small fringe party which has just one councillor in the Republic of Ireland.

It was formed by members of Sinn Fein who walked out over a decision to enter the Irish parliament, if elected, thus ending the party's policy of abstention.

The people who walked out feared that Sinn Fein leaders would take the Provisional IRA down a constitutional path which, they believed, would never deliver a united Ireland.

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