More from New Statesman
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
Tel: 020 7219 8151
Gerry Adams was born in 1948 in West Belfast where he continues to reside with his family. He became involved in the civil rights campaign in the late 1960s and was interned without trial in 1972. When he was released in July 1972 he took part in secret talks in London between Irish republicans and the then British Secretary of State, William Whitelaw, which gave rise to a brief ceasefire between the British Army and the Irish Republican Army.
After arrest with other leading republicans in Belfast in 1973 he tried to escape from Long Kesh Prison Camp. For this he was imprisoned and eventually released in 1976. He played a leading role in the campaign for political status for political prisoners in the 1981 Hunger Strike. He was central to the formation of Sinn Féin's electoral strategy. In 1982 he topped the poll in West Belfast in the Assembly elections.
In December of the same year he was banned by British Home Secretary William Whitelaw, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, from entering Britain to speak to Labour MPs and councillors at the invitation of the leader of the Greater London Council, Ken Livingstone MP. The ban was lifted in June 1983 when he was elected MP for West Belfast with a majority of more than 5,000. He was re-elected in 1988 but lost the seat to the SDLP in 1991.
In the Forum elections in the Six Counties in 1996, Sinn Féin topped the poll in West Belfast when Gerry Adams was elected to head the Sinn Féin negotiations team.
In 1997 and again in 2001 he was re-elected as MP for West Belfast. In 1998 he was elected to the Assembly and re-elected in 2003.
Gerry Adams has been President of Sinn Féin since 1983. In 1987 he was instrumental in launching the party's current peace strategy with the publication of the discussion document Scenario for Peace. This was followed in 1992 with the document Towards a Lasting Peace in Ireland.
In 1993 it emerged that Gerry Adams had been holding a series of meetings with the leader of the SDLP, John Hume. From these meetings both leaders agreed a joint position which was to become the Irish Peace Initiative. Throughout the peace process he has worked side by side with Martin McGuinness and the Sinn Féin leadership to advance the process and in our reach out to unionism. He is centrally involved in the ongoing development of the party as a radical alternative in Irish society.
Sinn Féin: Vice-president 1978-83, President 1983-general election 2010-Belfast West
|Adams, Gerry||Sinn Féin||22840||71.08%|
|Result||Sinn Féin Hold (% from )|
Member for Belfast West 1983-92, 1997-2010, for Belfast West (revised boundary) since 6 May 2010 general election