Thursday 27 April 2017

Gerry Adams' US ally was involved in creating Muslim ban

US Congressman Peter King (R) addresses the media beside Gerry Adams, President of the Sinn Fein, in the Parliament Buildings in Stormont in Belfast 02 December 1999. Photo: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
US Congressman Peter King (R) addresses the media beside Gerry Adams, President of the Sinn Fein, in the Parliament Buildings in Stormont in Belfast 02 December 1999. Photo: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams is under pressure to condemn the comments of a close American ally who is at the centre of Donald Trump's 'Muslim ban'.

It has emerged that Congressman Peter King was involved in behind the scenes planning for the restrictions on travellers and refugees from seven countries.

The ban has caused international outrage, while at home the Government is to review the facilitation of US pre-clearance sites at Dublin and Shannon airports.

Mr Adams has called for pre-clearance to be scrapped in protest at Mr Trump’s policies – but Fianna Fáil is now demanding that he go further and criticise one of his key Republican supporters and return any money that he has donated to the party.

Sinn Fein lead Gerry Adams (L) and US Representative of New York Peter King (R) attend the annual St. Patrick's Day luncheon 17 March on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Photo: LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images
Sinn Fein lead Gerry Adams (L) and US Representative of New York Peter King (R) attend the annual St. Patrick's Day luncheon 17 March on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Photo: LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images

Mr King has repeatedly backed the Sinn Féin president over the years, including when he was arrested in connection with the murder of mother of 10 Jean McConville.

"I have every reason based on his past record to believe Gerry Adams," King said at the time. "I have known him since the early ‘80s and he has never told me something that turned out to be untrue."

Fianna Fáil’s jobs spokesman Niall Collins today said that Mr Adams is "uniquely placed to actually make a meaningful protest on this issue".

"We know from archival footage that he enjoyed a warm relationship with the newly elected President in the past, when Mr Trump was a high profile attendee at Sinn Féin fundraisers, acknowledged publicly by the Sinn Féin leader.

"We also know that Congressman Peter King, named by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani as one of the key architects of the travel ban, is a long time close personal ally of Deputy Adams and a major fundraiser for his party for over thirty years," Mr Collins said.

“While Rep King has now claimed that he didn’t design the ban, he has expressed his strong support for it and has urged the President to go further, establishing a Federal Muslim Surveillance Programme”

Mr Collins called on Sinn Féin to publicly condemn the congressman’s comments and "spell out how much Rep King has donated and helped raise for his organisation since he first came out in support of NORAID in the 1980s and return that cash".

“Will he spell out how much the US President and/or the Trump Organisation has donated to the party over the years?,” Mr Collins asked.

A request for comment has been sent to the Sinn Féin press office.

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