Sinn Féin's leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O'Neill is seeking the role of the party's vice president.

The position is available because the current holder, Mary Lou McDonald, will replace Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams when he retires from his job next month. 

It emerged at the weekend after nominations closed that Ms McDonald was the only person proposed to succeed Mr Adams.

He will retire from the leadership role at a special Ard Fheis next month.

The change will see Ms McDonald vacating the deputy leader role, with nominations for the vice president position opening at 9am and closing in a week's time. 

Last night, Ms O'Neill announced she will be a candidate for the job

Her announcement comes at a time of significant change for Sinn Féin.

For decades the party's best known figures were Mr Adams and Martin McGuinness, who both came from north of the border. 

The party has a long tradition of men from the North, with IRA links, in leadership positions. 

Dublin-based TD Ms McDonald, rising from vice president to president, represents change.

Attention will now turn to see if other candidates, including some from south of the border, emerge to contest the number two position in the party.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Eoin Ó Brion said he would not be putting his name forward for vice president of the party and that he had no interest in the position.

He added that if two or more people were interested in the position, then there should be a contest.