Belfast Telegraph

Report DUP's Foster and Sinn Fein's McDonald not invited to White House St Patrick's Day event over Northern Ireland political vacuum

The lack of a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland is thought to be the reason the DUP leader Arlene Foster and Sinn Fein president Mary Lou McDonald have not been invited to the St Patrick's Day celebrations in Washington, it has been reported.

It has long been a tradition for many politicians from across Ireland to travel to the States every March for the annual St Patrick's Day celebrations.

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

The paper reports, however, both the Sinn Fein former president Gerry Adams and DUP MP Ian Paisley have been invited. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is also in the states.

TD Ms McDonald is in America with a Sinn Fein delegation including deputy president Michelle O'Neill and Mr Adams.

The Belfast Telegraph has asked the DUP and Sinn Fein for a comment.

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."

In March 2016 Gerry Adams was barred from attending the White House reception with staff informing him there was a security issue.

The US Secret Service apologised saying a delay in processing Mr Adams for entry was due to the an "administrative input error".

It was later revealed his refusal for entry was because the Secret Service thought the name "Gerry Adams" was the nickname of another guest attending the event.

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