Adams urges diplomatic push on North during US visit

Congressman describes Sinn Féin leader’s arrest as ‘very ill-timed and ill-considered’

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams urged 11 members of the US Congress to press the British government to support the Haass proposals and fulfil the remaining obligations under the Belfast Agreement.

Speaking alongside congressmen on a 48-hour visit to Washington, Mr Adams said he told the US politicians that there was an opportunity between now and the marching season to deliver the proposals of former US diplomat Richard Haass on flags, parades and issues of the past.

Among the congressmen Sinn Féin met on Capitol Hill were Democrats Richard Neal, Joe Crowley and Joseph Kennedy, and Republican Peter King.

They met ahead of a meeting with Jake Sullivan, national security adviser to vice-president Joe Biden, and senior state department official David McKean.


Mr Neal described Mr Adams's arrest and questioning last month by the PSNI in its investigation into the 1972 murder of Belfast widow Jean McConville as "very ill-timed and ill-considered" coming before elections in Ireland.

“He had volunteered to submit to questioning well before this staged effort to draw attention by the PSNI,” said Mr Neal, speaking alongside Mr Adams after their meeting.

"There was no basis for it," said Mr King. "It certainly appeared contrived for the election, and I think it hurt the unionists and it hurt the British government here in the United States. "

He urged the US government to let London know that the peace process “does need some support right now”.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times