Northern Ireland

'We're not going to be intimidated' - Mary Lou McDonald

Mary Lou McDonald

Republican politicians will not be intimidated by the attack on the Belfast home of Gerry Adams, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald has said.

On Friday, what police have described as large industrial fireworks, were thrown at his house.

Speaking at a news conference in west Belfast, Ms McDonald said she blamed dissident republicans.

She said if the attack was part of a "ruse" to try to undermine Sinn Féin, it would not work.

A rally is being held in West Belfast in support of Mr Adams and senior republican Bobby Storey, whose home was also attacked.

Ms McDonald sidestepped questions about the party's preferred candidate for an Irish presidential contest.

There is speculation that Belfast solicitor John Finucane is being considered.

She said she had seen the speculation but did not comment on the likelihood of him being selected.

Sinn Féin formally announced on Saturday that it would contest the presidential election.

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Image caption Police responded to reports of loud bangs at 22:50 BST on Friday 13 July

A party selection committee will report next week and the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle will meet at a later date to consider that report.

One of the party's MEPs, Liadh Ní Riada, has also been mentioned as a potential candidate.

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Image caption There is speculation that Belfast solicitor John Finucane is the party's preferred candidate for an Irish presidential contest

Last week, sitting president Michael D Higgins confirmed he will stand for re-election for a second term.

The 77-year-old was elected in 2011 for a seven-year term.

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