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Obama silent as Adams blasts White House insult

Gerry Adams

No comment so far by the White House after an extraordinary insult to Gerry Adams drew stinging criticism from the Sinn Fein party leader and stunned Irish-American political leaders.

Mr Adams hit out after being stopped from entering the White House for a  St Patrick’s Day celebrations event with President Obama on Tuesday night.

Despite being invited, as he has for several years, Mr Adams was told  there was a “security issue” when he attempted to attend the annual  event at which the traditional bowl of shamrock is presented.

Mr Adams’s party colleagues, the Six County Deputy First Minister (and  former IRA commander) Martin McGuinness, and the party’s deputy leader  Mary Lou McDonald, were allowed to enter the celebrations. Mr Adams  waited for about 90 minutes before deciding to leave. He has described  the incident was “an unacceptable development”.

Invitations to White House events are only issued following the most  stringent security checks. This afternoon, Mr Adams tweeted a picture of  his invitation. The Sinn Fein President said that he had been invited to  the event and was pleased to accept.

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

Mr Adams added that Sinn Fein representatives had been denied entry or  had to go through extra searches when travelling to the USA, while the  State Department had also initially refused to meet him last year until  protests from Irish America.

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