Friday 20 July 2018

TDs boycott Fourth of July party at the US ambassador's residence in Dublin

Catherine Murphy, left, and Róisín Shortall . Photo: Gareth Chaney
Catherine Murphy, left, and Róisín Shortall . Photo: Gareth Chaney
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Tonight's annual July 4 celebration in the US ambassador's residence will be boycotted by several Oireachtas members in protest at President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

Those who will avoid the event are doing so in response to the separation of children from their families at the US border.

All People Before Profit TDs will also be boycotting the event, including Brid Smith, Gino Kenny and Richard Boyd Barrett.

Social Democrat TDs Catherine Murphy and Roisin Shorthall have also made the decision not to attend, as has Fianna Fáil Senator Lorraine Clifford Lee.

Charge d'Affaires Reece Smyth will host the US Independence Day event, titled 'United We Rock', in the Phoenix Park. Green Party TD Eamon Ryan, who is among those who will not be attending, said he believed the gesture, no matter how small, sent a message.

"It is a protest directly relating to the separation of families along the Mexican border. The treatment of those children is in breach of all international conventions," he said.

An activist holds up a sign during a rally to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies in Marshalltown, Iowa. AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
An activist holds up a sign during a rally to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies in Marshalltown, Iowa. AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Mr Ryan said there were many issues he could protest against under the current US administration but this, in particular, was something "where you just have to take a stand and say 'that's not acceptable'".

Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has called for a boycott of the celebrations, describing recent US immigration policies as a "step too far". He expects all his party colleagues will join him in his protest.

However, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael TDs have free rein on whether to attend the celebrations.

Irish Independent

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