Adams wants US security review after White House party snub

Gerry Adams was furious after being denied admission to the White House reception
Gerry Adams was furious after being denied admission to the White House reception

Gerry Adams has called for a review of security arrangements for Sinn Fein members visiting the US after being refused entry to a White House party.

The Sinn Fein president was furious when staff in Washington DC made him wait for a reported 90 minutes as he attempted to join President Barack Obama’s reception ahead of St Patrick’s Day.

The Louth TD said he was told the delay was due to “an issue of security”.

After leaving without gaining entry, he issued a statement, describing the situation as “unacceptable”.

Mr Adams said: “After two decades of travelling back and forth to the USA and countless meetings in the White House with successive US presidents, this is an unacceptable development.

“It is obvious that there remain some within the US administration who seek to treat Sinn Fein differently.”

On Thursday, the Sinn Fein leader called for “the full normalisation of relations between Sinn Féin and the White House”.

He said: “I want to welcome the letter from the Congressional members to the White House in which they express their outrage over the refusal to allow me access to the St Patrick’s Day celebrations at the White House on Tuesday evening.

“The constant additional security processes and delays which Sinn Féin representatives are regularly subject to has long been a cause of concern.”

Mr Adams added: “Yesterday my colleague Martin Ferris was delayed getting on his flight to Boston and when he eventually arrived on a later flight he was held for several hours.

“In the course of my meeting with the State Department on Wednesday, during which they apologised for the White House situation, I urged the administration to review their approach to Sinn Féin representatives visiting the USA and to fulfil the commitment of the Clinton administration 20 years ago to normalise relations between the US administration and Sinn Féin.”