Sinn Féin TD denies party hypocrisy over Donald Trump

Pearse Doherty detests policies of US president but says representatives will still visit White House

A file photograph of Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams attending a  St Patrick’s Day reception at the White House. A Sinn Féin TD has said he detests the policies of US president Donald Trump but that his party will accept an invitation to visit the White House this year. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters.

A file photograph of Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams attending a St Patrick’s Day reception at the White House. A Sinn Féin TD has said he detests the policies of US president Donald Trump but that his party will accept an invitation to visit the White House this year. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters.

 

A Sinn Féin TD has said he detests the policies of US president Donald Trump but that his party will still accept an invitation to visit the White House on St Patrick’s Day.

Pearse Doherty, the party’s finance spokesman, said he does not believe Mr Trump should be invited to visit Ireland but that he believed it was appropriate to work with his administration.

The Donegal TD denied this was a hypocritical position for the party to take.

“Donald Trump is the elected leader in America. We will work with him, we will challenge him,” he told reporters on Thursday. “But if the American administration wants to continue to support the efforts to deliver on the peace process, then that is something we will try to work with.”

The Sinn Féin leadership has confirmed it will accept the invite from Mr Trump to visit Washington this year. However, the party’s new leader in the North, Michelle O’Neill, said she does not believe he should visit Northern Ireland.

Mr Doherty said he supported that position claiming the Irish people would not offer a Cead Mile fáilte to the president.

Boycott

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has insisted he will visit Mr Trump and raise concerns over some of his policies despite calls for him to boycott the annual St Patrick’s Day engagement. The Government has said no decision had been made on whether to invite Mr Trump to visit the State.

Speaking to reporters in Malta at last week’s EU summit, the Taoiseach declined to rule out an invitation to Mr Trump, saying that he would consider the matter when in Washington.

Newspaper reports at the weekend said Mr Kenny had decided not to invite Mr Trump. A Government spokesman has said that Mr Kenny’s remarks still stood, but that the Taoiseach would be concentrating on raising the plight of illegal Irish immigrants in the US when he meets Mr Trump.

Government sources stressed that the importance of the meeting with the US president went beyond the occupant of the office at any one time.