Francie Brolly the Sinn Fein MLA for East Londonderry has announced that he is to retire from the assembly before the end of the year. The 71 year old former teacher and folk singer from Dungiven was elected to Limavady Council in 2001 and the Assembly in 2003 and 2007. Mr Brolly said: I have been proud to serve the great people of East Derry in all their diversity and I thank God for the privilege of living among them in what is surely one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland, steeped in culture and rich in history.” Gerry Adams said: Francie Brolly has touched the lives of generations of people throughout Ireland and beyond. His has been a life full of commitment and dedication to the cause of Irish freedom and justice; to Irish culture and the language and, as a teacher, to the future of our young people. He brought an immense dignity and humour to the Republican struggle.
It almost feels like the beginning of the passing of what is now the Sinn Fein old guard which makes one wonder about the possibility of Adams retiring, though to be fair he is considerably younger than Brolly.