Does this interview have Gerry Adams stepping down in 2009, going south permanently and running for the presidency?
As for his own plans for the future, Adams said that “part of my exit strategy,” was to guide a process in which the present generation of party leaders “replace ourselves in a fluid and seamless way.”
Adams did not think, however, that he would be anything but the party leader this side of the local elections in the South in 2009. And he made it clear that he still felt that he had a lot of work to do for his party.
“I’m quite prepared to keep serving but I recognize that with a sustainable new dispensation (in Northern Ireland) there will be time to concentrate on building Sinn Féin across the island,” he said.
Mary McAleese finishes her term in 2011. Post the ’09 elections, this gives Gerry plenty of time to shake off the mantle of Northern interloper and establish himself full-time in the south. To be president of Ireland in 2016 is, of course, the big prize.
I don’t think I’m over-reading this by concluding that, almost exactly four years in advance of those elections, Gerry’s planning for it.
UPDATE: Just stumbled across Sluggertoole’s take on the subject. Clearly Caoimhghin doesn’t read the Irish Echo.