Wednesday 28 September 2016

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams: Other parties are 'jealous' of our support in US

Niall O'Connor Political Correspondent

Published 03/11/2015 | 15:10

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has said political parties are "jealous" of the support and financial backing Sinn Fein has generated across the Atlantic.

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Mr Adams today said the significant monies raised by Sinn Fein in the US is directly linked to his party's association with the Irish Diaspora.

The Louth TD rejected suggestions of a lack of transparency surrounding his party's fundraising efforts, which have helped build a multi-million financial war chest.

Mr Adams made the remarks after it emerged he and his deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald intend to fly to New York this week to attend a functioned organised by Friends of Sinn Fein (FSF). Both are travelling economy class, according to a party spokesman.

Tickets for the event, scheduled to be held in the four-star Sheraton Hotel on Thursday, are €500 per head.

Speaking on the plinth at Leinster House, Mr Adams said he makes "no apologies" for travelling to New York during a Dail week.

"I have a responsibility to engage with the Diaspora. We do that very well, that's one of the reasons why the Diaspora is so active on issues affecting people on this island," Mr Adams said.

"And Given the fact so many people on this island was forced off the island, particularly from this state. I make no apologies for going there whatsoever and I think your question stretches everyones' imagination in a considerable way," he added.

Mr Adams accused other parties of being jealous over its US operation.

"We publish our accounts. Go and look at them. We are successful. We have a large degree of jealousy among the other parties about the support Sinn Fein gets, particularly within Irish-America, but within the wider Disapora. That's because we invest time ad we invest effort to keep those people informed of what is going on here," he said.

The event will be held just 48 hours after Sinn Féin comes under pressure in the Dáil over alleged links with the Provisional IRA and the Army Council.

More than two hours has been set aside for TDs to debate issues relating to Northern Ireland this evening, including the two recently published reports into paramilitary activity.

A damning UK report, commissioned by the North's Secretary of State Theresa Villiers, claims that PIRA members believe the IRA army council still runs Sinn Féin - a claim the party has vehemently rejected.

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