Here’s a look at the life of Gerry Adams, the former leader of Sinn Fein, Northern Ireland’s main republican political party.
Birthday date: October 6, 1948
Birth place: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Birth name: Gerard Adams
Father: Gerry Adams, Labor and Republican activist
Mother: Annie (Hannaway) Adams, mill worker
Marriage: Colette (McArdle) Adams (1971-present)
Sinn Fein means “ourselves”.
He has written more than 10 books.
He denies being a member of the Irish Republican Army.
early 1960s – He joins Sinn Fein, which supports the reunification of British-ruled Northern Ireland with the rest of Ireland.
1972 – Suspected of being the leader of the Irish Republican Army, Adams is interned without trial.
July 1972 – He has been released to participate in peace talks with the UK government.
1973-1977 – After peace talks fail, Adams is imprisoned again.
1978 – Elected Vice President of Sinn Fein.
1983 – Elected President of Sinn Fein.
1983-1992 – He is the representative of West Belfast in the British House of Commons. Following Sinn Fein policy, Adams never takes his seat to avoid swearing allegiance to the Queen of England.
1984 – He was shot and seriously injured in an attack.
1988 – John Hume, leader of the Social Democratic and Labor Party of Northern Ireland, starts talking.
1993 – Adams and Hume suggest a declaration for a peaceful settlement of the conflict in Northern Ireland.
1994 – He is granted his first US visa.
1997 – He met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
April 1998 – The Good Friday Agreement, also known as the Belfast Agreement, is signed, establishing a democratically elected assembly in Northern Ireland. The assembly has been suspended several times, and the last suspension will end in 2007.
June 1998 – He has been elected to the new Northern Ireland Assembly.
2011 – The Dáil is elected to the Irish parliament.
From April 30 to May 4, 2014 – Adams has been questioned in connection with the 1972 Irish Republican Army kidnapping and the murder of Jean McConville, a mother of 10.
May 19, 2015 – He will meet Prince Carlos. It is the first meeting between a member of the British Royal Family and the leader of Sinn Fein.
May 22, 2015 – The election results have made Ireland the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote, a “big day for equality”.
September 29, 2015 – The Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland has confirmed that Adams and six others will not be prosecuted in connection with the 1972 murder of Jean McConville.
March 16, 2016 – The Secret Service apologizes for denying Adams entry to a White House reception, citing a clerical error. Adams was invited to the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on March 15, but when he arrived he says staff told him there was a security issue.
November 18, 2017 – At Sinn Fein’s annual meeting in Dublin, Ireland, Adams announced his intention to step down as president in 2018.
February 10, 2018 – He has resigned as president of Sinn Fein.
July 13, 2018 – An explosive device was thrown at Adams’ home in Belfast, and at the home of another Sinn Fein leader, Bobby Storey. On July 17th, an arrest was made in connection with the attacks.
October 2018 – The “Negotiator’s Cook Book”, containing what Adam calls the “best-kept secret” recipes behind the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, has been published.
October 17, 2019 – A Belfast court has dismissed the case against former IRA member Ivor Bell, and has ruled out any connection to the murder of Adams McConville.
February 2020 – The Guardian reports that Adams is part of Sinn Fein’s negotiating team to form a government, according to a leaked summary. His name does not appear in the list of the negotiating team released by the party. After Sinn Fein won several seats in the Irish general election earlier this month. Adams writes in his blog that the party has always had additional advisers.
May 13, 2020 – The UK Supreme Court has ruled that Adams was unlawfully imprisoned in the 1970s and overturned two convictions against him for attempting to escape from prison.