Gerry Adams says his treatment ‘unacceptable’ after being refused entry to White House

Sinn Fein party president Gerry Adams TD
Sinn Fein party president Gerry Adams TD

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams was refused entrance to the White House Irish community St Patrick’s reception last night, according to the Irish Central.

It has been reported that Mr Adams arrived with other Sinn Fein personnel including the party’s Vice President Mary Lou McDonald.

According to the Irish Central he was pulled aside from the other Sinn Fein members as the White House security personnel examined his documents.

Leading congressional figures have reportedly promised an immediate inquiry.

It has been claimed that after waiting 90 minutes and seeing no movement in the effort to gain him entrance, Mr Adams decided to leave.

Present at the White House was Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness as well as a slew of members of the House and Senate.

In a statement released this evening Mr Adams said: “I had received my usual invitation to attend the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the White House and was pleased to accept.

“When I arrived the staff at the White House informed me that there was an issue of ‘security’.

“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.

“Some of our political representatives have been denied access to the USA while others, including myself, have to regularly go through additional searches and scrutiny when we travel to and from the USA.

“Last year the State Department initially refused to meet me as part of a transparent effort to pressurise Sinn Féin during negotiations at Stormont.

“That meeting did take place after protests from US political leaders. Efforts to pressurise us in the negotiations failed.

“This morning Martin McGuinness, Mary Lou McDonald and I met with the Congressional Friends of Ireland. They too shared our grave disappointment at the White House situation and expressed their determination to have this issue resolved.

“Sinn Fein will not sit at the back of the bus for anyone. We are elected to represent citizens and we will do this. I am hopeful that the controversy around my White House invitation will help lead to a resolution of all these matters.”