Sinn Féin has today unveiled Michelle O’Neill as its new leader for Northern Ireland.
The 40-year-old has represented Mid Ulster in the north’s Assembly since 2007
To follow in the footsteps of Martin McGuinness who is a political giant is no mean feat but a challenge that I’m certainly up for.
Ms. O’Neill’s father Brendan served for Sinn Féin on the old Dungannon council between 1993 and 2001 and she spoke of the impact he had on her own political career:
“Around the time he was a councillor through the late 80s to the early 90s, loyalists were killing Sinn Féin councillors.
It was a very difficult time for him to put himself forward but I saw the influence he had in our local community and how brilliant he was in helping people out with their issues.
I could see his commitment to the Republican struggle. I think that certainly he’s played a big part in terms of shaping who I am.
Sadly, he’s not with us now but I know rightly he’ll be looking down and he’ll be very proud of his wee girl being the new leader of Sinn Féin in the North.”
You can watch the full interview with Michelle O’Neill below: