The leader of Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams has stepped down after 34 years in his role, allowing Mary Lou McDonald to take over as the new party president at a special conference on Saturday.
Mr Adams had announced his resignation in November last year.
In her first address as party president, Ms McDonald said she would work towards a referendum on Irish unity.
"I want us to achieve this with respect, graciousness and generosity," she said. "Irish unity cannot be a crude exercise of simply stitching north to south and returning to business as usual.
"We do not want a 32 county free state. We want a new Ireland, in which rights are guaranteed, cultures respected and the diversity of our identities embraced."