Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: Why Gerry Adams was barred from White House

Newly released documents have revealed the reason why Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams was barred from the White House.

In March 2016 the Sinn Fein leader was invited to Barack Obama's White House for the annual St Patrick's Day events along with Mary Lou McDonald and the late Martin McGuinness.

However, on arrival the Louth TD was told by staff there was a security issue which needed to be addressed before he was let in to the event, attended by an array of US and foreign dignitaries. After a 90 minute wait Mr Adams cut his losses and left.

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

However, Mr Adams reacted angrily accusing the US Government of treating Sinn Fein "differently" to other political parties. In a scathing attack, he said Sinn Fein will "not sit at the back of the bus for anyone", in reference to civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

Now documents, seen by Irish broadcaster RTE state the reason for his refused entry was because the Secret Service thought the name "Gerry Adams" was the nickname of another guest attending the event.

And when an email was sent to a member of the organisation tasked with the President's security about it, he was out for a run and did not respond for 45 minutes, holding up the process.

The documents released to RTE under Freedom of Information show there was a flurry of emails over the incident.

"I walked into a firestorm... the last flames are just being put out as we speak. Wow, what a day!" wrote one official.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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