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Adams fury as TD Ferris is held at airport in Boston

By Philip Ryan

Published 18/03/2016

Delayed: Martin Ferris
Delayed: Martin Ferris

Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has claimed his party colleague Martin Ferris was "held for several hours" by the authorities at Boston Airport.

Mr Ferris, a TD for Kerry and a convicted IRA gunrunner, is believed to have been stopped and questioned by immigration officials on Wednesday after arriving in the city to participate in events to mark St Patrick's Day.

The claim was made after Mr Adams himself launched a blistering attack on officials after he was denied access to an event in the White House this week.

While party colleagues Mary Lou McDonald and Martin McGuinness passed security checks at an event hosted by President Barack Obama, Mr Adams left after being made wait 90 minutes.

Sinn Fein has now alleged that its representatives have been subjected to "additional security procedures and delays" by the US authorities.

In a statement, Mr Adams said a review is now required.

"The constant additional security processes and delays which Sinn Fein representatives are regularly subject to has long been a cause of concern. We have raised it privately in the past," Mr Adams said.

"Yesterday my colleague Martin Ferris was delayed getting on his flight to Boston and when he eventually arrived on a later flight he was held for several hours.

"In the course of my meeting with the State Department on Wednesday, during which they apologised for the White House situation, I urged the administration to review their approach to Sinn Fein representatives visiting the USA and to fulfil the commitment of the Clinton administration 20 years ago to normalise relations between the US administration and Sinn Fein."

Efforts to contact Mr Ferris proved unsuccessful last night, but a Sinn Fein spokesman said he was held up by immigration officials.

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