belfast - Born in 1948 in Belfast, Gerry Adams has been politically active since the 1960s. He then became a member of the Catholic Sinn Fein, the republican movement that operates in both Northern Ireland and Ireland.
Sinn Fein was considered the political branch of the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Adams has always said that he was not a member of the violent IRA. In, among other British documents, he is mentioned as a prominent member of the group that violently wanted to make Northern Ireland independent of Great Britain.
In the 1970s, during the years of violence in Northern Ireland, he was arrested and detained several times. In 1984 he was seriously injured by an attack by loyalists, the proponents of a Northern Ireland as part of Great Britain.
Adams ended up in the top of Sinn Fein in the late 70s and became the leader of the political movement in the early 1980s. He formed the face of the movement together with Martin McGuinness, who died in March this year. They put the accent of the movement more on politics than on violence.
Adams also played an important role in the conclusion of the Good Friday agreement in 1998, which gave Northern Ireland more autonomy. Sinn Fein then also joined the Northern Irish Parliament.