Northern Irish Health Minister Michelle O’Neill has become the party’s new leader following Martin McGuinness’s decision to quit frontline politics.
The 40-year-old Mid Ulster Assembly member takes over as the republican party’s figurehead north of the Irish border weeks before a snap Assembly election.
Former NI Regional Development minister Connor Murphy had been the favourite to take over as leader but O’Neill ultimately prevailed.
O’Neill’s climb through the party has been fast and impressive. She joined the party in 2007 and was elected as Minister of Agriculture four years later in 2011. She continued her rise through the ranks in 2016 as she was named Minister of Health.
Ms O’Neill will have to hit the ground running, leading her party into an election in less than six weeks’ times.
Mr McGuinness’s resignation as deputy first minister in protest at the Democratic Unionists’ handling of a botched green energy scheme triggered the collapse of the powersharing administration.
The Sinn Fein veteran later announced he would not seek re-election due to his ongoing battle against a serious illness.