Belfast Telegraph

DUP confirms Arlene Foster will not go to White House St Patrick's Day event- Dodds to travel in her place

DUP leader Arlene Foster will not be travelling to the United States for this year's St Patrick's Day celebrations in Washington- but deputy leader Nigel Dodds MP will attend in her place.

A DUP spokesman confirmed Mrs Foster would not be travelling.

A statement read: "Mrs Foster has received a number of invitations to meet with key influencer's in Washington and New York. 

"She plans to fulfil these later in the year. 

"Mrs Foster has asked DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds MP to attend a number of events in Washington DC including the Speaker’s Lunch on behalf of the Party. Mr Dodds will travel later this week."

DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds (Yui Mok/PA)

It is understood Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald has also not been invited to the celebrations.

A Sinn Fein spokesman said: “The issue of invites to the reception are a matter for the White House. The invite list is being finalised and we are waiting to hear from them later in the week.”

The White House has been asked for comment.

The Irish Times reported on Monday that Mrs Foster and Mrs McDonald have not been invited, citing the lack of devolved government.

It is understood that both the Sinn Fein former president Gerry Adams and DUP MP Ian Paisley have been invited.

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