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Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams honoured as New York names street after Easter Rising

By Joanne Fleming

Published 07/11/2016

Easter Rising Way will be a pedestrian staircase that runs along 53rd Avenue, from 65th Place to 64th Street in west Queens
Easter Rising Way will be a pedestrian staircase that runs along 53rd Avenue, from 65th Place to 64th Street in west Queens

Gerry Adams is being honoured in a New York street-naming ceremony commemorating the Easter Rising.

The Sinn Fein president has been invited to make a keynote speech at the formal ceremony on Saturday, in which 'Easter Rising Way' will be born.

The currently unnamed street is in Maspeth in the west Queens area of New York - a pedestrian thoroughfare that runs along 53rd Avenue, from 65th Place to 64th Street.

New York City Council gave approval for the street naming.

This particular area was chosen because it is in a traditional Irish-American part of Queens and because it overlooks the Fenian Monument erected in 1907 by the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood, which was involved in planning the Easter Rising.

While in some American circles the Sinn Fein leader is criticised for being an apologist for the IRA, he is viewed by many in the US as a champion of the peace process.

Among them is New York City councilwoman, Elizabeth Crowley, who is helping organise the street naming ceremony.

"Adams is credited with bringing peace to Northern Ireland after centuries of turmoil, and helped move them forward," she said. "Gerry has joined our community on many occasions and I am very pleased he will be with us to commemorate this co-naming in Maspeth.

"The Easter Rising Way co-naming is a celebration of Ireland, its Proclamation for Equality and its connection to America. It is a celebration of peace, equality, independence and progress, and I am thrilled to have Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams be a part of it, as well as other notable Irish figures."

Ms Crowley reportedly invited Mr Adams to the ceremony after recently learning he was planning on coming to New York this month for an unrelated event. She said the decision by New York City Council to name the street in honour of the Easter Rising was because the Proclamation drew on the US Declaration of Independence.

"The difference is that the Proclamation said 'Irishmen and Irishwomen' at a time when women in the United States did not have the right to vote," she said.

"I see that Proclamation as helping us in our struggles for equality. Our country has been struggling in that direction. I see that as a strong bond between Ireland and America."

Ms Crowley said the thoroughfare has been cleaned up and planted in advance of Saturday's naming ceremony.

Barbara Jones, the consul general of Ireland in New York, will also attend the street co-naming ceremony at 11am on Saturday, according to Ms Crowley's office.

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