25 July 2002 Edition

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Bhreatnach takes on cultural brief

Adams thanks outgoing general secretary for unstinting work

Sinn Féin General Secretary Lucilita Bhreatnach announced on Wednesday that she will be moving into a new position within the party next spring, after 15 years in her current role. Lucilita will continue to work at party leadership level and will also take on a new role in charge of cultural development within the party.

"During my 15 years in the role of party General Secretary - the only female General Secretary of any party in Ireland - it has been an amazing time to be an an Irish republican," said Bhreatnach. "I had the opportunity to play a key role in the development of the party's Peace Strategy and be involved in negotiations leading up to the Good Friday Agreement. Also central to my role during this period has been the ongoing development of the party both internally and in helping to advance our electoral growth.

After so many years in the position of Ard Rúnaí, I think it is time to take up a new role within the party. I will continue to play a leadership role at Ard Chomhairle level particularly in relation to party development and the Election Department and I will also be taking on a new role relating to cultural development within the party. This role will involve helping to make the Irish language a dynamic part of everyday life and developing policies towards cultural equality nationally.

"I am looking forward to at least another 15 years of productive work for Sinn Féin."

Commenting on the announcement, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said:

"For over 20 years Lucilita has played a valuable role in leadership at various levels within Sinn Féin and she will continue to play such a role long into the future, albeit in a different capacity. As General Secretary, she has been central to developments in the party over the last decade in relation to the peace process and internal party organisation. And as she leaves this role within the party, she does so with an organisation in a much stronger position.

"In the last two and a half years, Lucilita has headed up and developed Sinn Féin's highly successfully Electoral Department. Along with an energetic team, she has been central to developing our electoral strategies for contesting the 2001 Westminster and Local Government elections in the Six Counties, which saw Sinn Féin become the largest nationalist party. She oversaw the defeat of the Nice Referendum, culminating with the recent landmark successes for the party in the General Election.

"I want to thank Lucilita for her unstinting work as party General Secretary and look forward to working with her for many years to come."

Election to the position of General Secretary takes place at the annual Sinn Féin Ard Fheis, which is due to take place next spring.

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