Adams marks St Patrick's Day in US
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams is travelling to the US this week to celebrate a number of St Patrick's Day events in Washington and New York.
The newly-elected Louth TD has been invited to the White House reception by President Barack Obama and to the annual speakers lunch by the Speaker of the Congress.
Mr Adams will also meet the Friends of Ireland Committee, and other senior Congressional and Senate members in Washington.
Last Friday, Mr Obama personally invited new Taoiseach Enda Kenny to the White House for the St Patrick's Day celebrations.
Mr Adams said he was pleased to represent Sinn Fein stateside.
"It will provide me with an opportunity to thank President Obama and other senior US politicians for their continued support for the Irish peace process," he said.
"While I am there I will hold a number of key meetings with senior political figures in the Congress and discuss with them outstanding matters arising from the peace process."
In New York, the party leader will speak at a wreath-laying ceremony at the republican plot in Calvary Cemetery in memory of the hunger strikers who died 30 years ago this year.
The Taoiseach has announced a scaled-down exodus of Cabinet members overseas for St Patrick's Day celebrations, with nine travelling abroad to France, Italy, the UK, Germany, the US, India, New Zealand and Australia.
During the Fianna Fail-led administration last year, 22 Government representatives travelled to 24 countries.