Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1948-10-06
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Gerard Adams (Irish: Gearóid Mac Ádhaimh; born 6 October 1948) is an Irish republican politician who was the President of Sinn Féin political party between 13 November 1983 and 10 February 2018, and served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for Louth from 2011 to 2020. From 1983 to 1992 and from 1997 to 2011, he was an abstentionist Member of Parliament (MP) of the British Parliament for the Belfast West constituency. In 1984, Adams was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt by several gunmen from the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), including John Gregg. From the late 1980s onwards, Adams was an important figure in the Northern Ireland peace process, initially following contact by the then-Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader John Hume and then subsequently with the Irish and British governments.Under Adams, Sinn Féin changed its traditional policy of abstentionism towards the Oireachtas, the parliament of the Republic of Ireland, in 1986 and later took seats in the power-sharing Northern Ireland Assembly. In 2005, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) stated that its armed campaign was over and that it was exclusively committed to peaceful politics.In 2014, he was held for four days by the Police Service of Northern Ireland for questioning in connection with the abduction and murder of Jean McConville in 1972. He was freed without charge and a file was sent to the Public Prosecution Service, which later stated there was insufficient evidence to charge him, as had been expected since shortly after his release.Adams announced in November 2017 that he would step down as leader of Sinn Féin in 2018, and that he would not stand for re-election to his seat in the Dáil in the next election. He was succeeded as President of Sinn Féin by Mary Lou McDonald at a special ardfheis (party conference) on 10 February 2018.
Adams was born in the Ballymurphy district of Belfast, Northern Ireland. His parents, Anne (Hannaway) and Gerry Adams Sr., came from republican backgrounds. His grandfather, also named Gerry Adams, was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) during the Irish War of Independence. Two of Adams's uncles, Dominic and Patrick Adams, had been interned by the governments in Belfast and Dublin. J. Bowyer Bell states in his book, The Secret Army, that Dominic Adams was a senior figure in the IRA of the mid-1940s. Gerry Adams Sr. joined the IRA at age sixteen. In 1942, he participated in an IRA ambush on a Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) patrol but was himself shot, arrested and sentenced to eight years' imprisonment.Adams's maternal great-grandfather, Michael Hannaway, was also a member of the IRB during its bombing campaign in England in the 1860s and 1870s. Michael's son, Billy, was election agent for Éamon de Valera at the 1918 Irish general election in West Belfast. Adams attended St Finian's Primary School on the Falls Road, where he was taught by La Salle brothers. Having passed the eleven-plus exam in 1960, he attended St Mary's Christian Brothers Grammar School. He left St Mary's with six O-levels and became a barman. He was increasingly involved in the Irish republican movement, joining Sinn Féin and Fianna Éireann in 1964, after being radicalised by the Divis Street riots during that year's general election campaign.In 1971, Adams married Collette McArdle, with whom he has one son, Gearoid (born 1973), who has played Gaelic football for Antrim GAA senior men's team and was its assistant manager in 2012.
Movies & TV Series
John Paul II in Ireland: A Plea for Peace
A look back at 1979, when the Pope visited Ireland in hopes of ending violence and praying for all to seek a peaceful resolution.
The Funeral Murders
A new documentary by acclaimed film-maker Vanessa Engle, The Funeral Murders follows a dramatic and deadly series of events that took place at two funerals in Belfast in March 1988. Thirty years later...