Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has insisted his party is “good for business” after The Irish Times reported that US business figures raised concern about its economic policies.
Speaking as the party's ardfheis got under way in Derry on Friday evening, Mr Adams said Sinn Féin enjoyed the support of the Irish diaspora "above and beyond" other organisations.
“We’re very good for business. We’re very pro-business. The fact that we get support of . . We can’t be getting support for US businesses on the one hand and then be bad for businesses on the other hand,” he said.
“It’s an oxymoron if you don’t mind me saying so.”
The Irish Times reported on Friday that leading Irish-American business figures, including donors to Sinn Féin, raised concerns about what they see as anti-business policies with senior party members at a recent private meeting in Dublin.
Mr Adams stressed US labour unions had also been brought to Ireland for talks with senior Sinn Féin figures.
Asked how the party’s contacts with US business might influence or change economic policy, Mr Adams said: “The same change that our party decides after discussions with a range of people.”
Mr Adams said some business people from the US were brought to Ireland to meet party figures “at my invitation”. Sinn Féin did the same thing with business people from Britain and held similar meetings in Ireland.
“So we listen. We also brought national representatives of the US North American Labour Unions. So we listen, we try to learn, but the ard fheis is what decides our policy,” he said.
“We get support from Irish America. That’s really, really important that the scrutiny of our transparent accounts show above and beyond anybody else that Sinn Féin enjoys the support of the Irish diaspora in the US of America.”