If you’re not on the list, you’re not getting in Mr Adams…

This is just plain weird. How could Gerry Adams think he was invited to the White House and then find himself in a queue for 90 mins while his deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald was waved through?

Mr A is no stranger to queues at the White House. Security there is uber tight, and it is not uncommon to get pulled aside and wait for up to forty minutes, but as Irish Central notes…

However, after waiting 90 minutes and seeing no movement in the effort to gain him entrance, Adams decided to leave.

[Don’t you know who I am? – Ed] Anyhoo, there does not seem to have been a refusal as such. IC reports that Richie Tranghese, a key man in DC for both northern nationalist parties as saying the affair would be addressed.

Hmmm. Watch this space….

UPDATE: Gerry’s initial response. Secret Service’s apology. Gerry’s interview with UTV Ireland.

  • Dan

    Humiliating adams like that in tbe centenary year of all years.There goes obama’s hopes of a mural on the falls road wall of mopery

  • SeaanUiNeill

    I wonder if someone was hinting……….

  • Nevin

    The Irish News account seems to have disappeared.

  • the rich get richer

    Its has to be a message to Sinn Fein that its time to decommission Gerry (which it is).

    Thats all I can think of.

    or Else Enda and Obama are acting the maggot !

  • the rich get richer

    Enda must be Going for the Second election.

    …..Embarass Gerry and….ah who knows ?

  • the rich get richer

    It didn’t take Mick Fealty long to get a thread up about this (which is good) but there has been other issues where he has not been so speedy.

  • Mick

    Gerry has issued a statement on the ‘White House controversy’.

    “I had received my usual invitation to attend the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the White House and was pleased to accept.

    “When I arrived the staff at the White House informed me that there was an issue of ‘security’.

    “After two decades of travelling back and forth to the USA and countless meetings in the White House with successive US Presidents, this is an unacceptable development.

    “It is obvious that there remain some within the US administration who seek to treat Sinn Fein differently.”

    And, apparently,

    “Sinn Fein will not sit at the back of the bus for anyone.”

    In his statement, however, he neglects to mention one particularly relevant point. As the Irish Times report notes

    Mr Adams was due to attend the annual event, hosted by president Barack Obama, with his party’s deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald and Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

    However, he [Adams] was forced to wait 90 minutes as security examined his passport. Ms McDonald and Mr McGuinness attended the event but Mr Adams decided to leave when it became clear there was no immediate resolution.

    So just you, Gerry…

  • David McCann

    Gerry Adams response;

    “I had received my usual invitation to attend the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the White House and was pleased to accept.

    “When I arrived the staff at the White House informed me that there was an issue of ‘security’.

    “After two decades of travelling back and forth to the USA and countless meetings in the White House with successive US Presidents, this is an unacceptable development.

    “It is obvious that there remain some within the US administration who seek to treat Sinn Fein differently.

    “Some of our political representatives have been denied access to the USA while others, including myself, have to regularly go through additional searches and scrutiny when we travel to and from the USA.

    “Last year the State Department initially refused to meet me as part of a transparent effort to pressurise Sinn Féin during negotiations at Stormont.

    “That meeting did take place after protests from US political leaders. Efforts to pressurise us in the negotiations failed.

    “This morning Martin McGuinness, Mary Lou McDonald and I met with the Congressional Friends of Ireland. They too shared our grave disappointment at the White House situation and expressed their determination to have this issue resolved.

    “Sinn Fein will not sit at the back of the bus for anyone. We are elected to represent citizens and we will do this. I am hopeful that the controversy around my White House invitation will help lead to a resolution of all these matters.”

  • the rich get richer

    Gerry is not going to be very happy !

    It was a Party and he can cry if he wants to !

  • chrisjones2

    Perhaps somone mentioned he was retiring after his stunning electoral victory ?

    but his colleagues and all the others got in and got seats on the bus including Mary Lou who I assume is now in hiding in case he finds her to demand to know why she didnt answer his calls from outside

    Poor Gerry ….what a slap in the Gub as we say in Belfast

  • chrisjones2

    “Some of our political representatives have been denied access to the USA while others, including myself, have to regularly go through additional searches and scrutiny when we travel to and from the USA.”

    I wonder why? could it be the links to the Army Council that hasnt gone away? PIRA US Gun Running? Support for Slab?

  • Hugh Davison

    We’ve already read this.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    So, even though McD and McG got in without difficulty somehow Sinn Fein are being treated differently?

    And if he’s in a queue then how is he being treated differently? Surely a queue is a sign of people being treated equally (in a manner of speaking)?

    Maybe they thought he was Pierce Brosnan…

  • Jollyraj

    Who do these Americans think they are…

  • Jollyraj

    Evidently Gerry feels that he, personally, IS Sinn Fein.

  • John Claudius

    And the NSA will be monitoring this website when POTUS is mentioned.Should I put on my tinfoil hat?

  • mickfealty

    Admin error, apparently…

  • mickfealty

    I sat on it for three hours after I first saw IN, and only did it because it was a fairly simple story. Other things I’m writing take longer to prepare.

  • Nevin
  • mickfealty

    To be fair, I think Pete’s was fractionally ahead of David’s…

  • Hugh Davison

    Fine, but reading down I first come across David’s as a featured comment, then David’s again, then Pete’s. So, I’ve just read it three times.
    Not that there’s a lot to this story, so far.

  • mickfealty

    I know. That was unfortunate, and rather confusing to be honest. Whatever the plural of mea culpa is, consider it offered Hugh?

  • mickfealty

    The Rosa Parks comment was a mistake, given where he is (and the harsh economic reality of life for the majority of citizens in the District of Columbia).

    He was clearly miffed, but I’d expect the explanation for it will turn out to be more like a banal admin screw than any serious matter of civil rights.

    UTV Ireland interview here: http://goo.gl/6ZLHwt

  • Mick,

    A quick reminder of Gerry’s initial response

    “It is obvious that there remain some within the US administration who seek to treat Sinn Fein differently.”

    Not much room for an administrative error there…

  • Mick,

    A quick reminder of Gerry’s initial response

    “It is obvious that there remain some within the US administration who seek to treat Sinn Fein differently.”

    Not much room for an administrative error there. Even one of 80 minutes…

    And it would appear that he repeated the Rosa Parks line after that explanation was made.

    “Sinn Fein will not sit at the back of the bus for anyone.”

    Except, of course, that it was Gerry at the back of bus. By himself. Martin and Mary Lou were already in the front seats…

    He said he had not been embarrassed by the incident, adding: “I just deal with this in a non-personal way.”

    Of course you do, Gerry…

  • Brian wilson

    Gerry Adams being refused admission to the reception reminds me of 2007 when I was invited to the Saint Patrick’s Day reception at the White House as the leader of the Green Party. I declined the invitation on environmental grounds(flying) and was blacklisted from further events organised by the US Consulate during my term as MLA.

  • Jollyraj

    One wonders whether Gerry will now, in the interests of consistency with his lifelong political views and to avoid charges of hypocrisy, question the legitimacy of the US state, and the ‘plantation’ that went on there, to the detriment of the native population. That would surely be the Irish republican take on the USA.

  • Jollyraj

    I doubt whether Obama would have any wish to be included in any mural containing the KKK images that they so love to paint.

  • Nevin

    Not one I made earlier:

    Secret Service: ‘Excuse me. Do you folks have an invitation?

    Gerry: ‘Aye’

    Secret Service: ‘Excuse me?’

    Mary-Lou: ‘Aye says Gerry’

    Secret Service: ‘ISIS Gerry?’

  • Granni Trixie

    Infact, is it not true to say that GA Plus others who have a record and who get into the States do so because of positive discrimination and political reasons?
    One rule for one…?

  • Granni Trixie

    But it’s great fun, isn’t it?

  • Granni Trixie

    And in the same week as The Truth Commission film showed up the dark face of Politicans coming from an IRA background.

  • Simian Droog

    32 comments on an admin error. Liberal Unionist Glee club by definition.

  • Reader

    It’s a perfectly simple case of administrative cockup. All Obama said was that he didn’t want that Republican fruitcake to get into the Whitehouse.

  • babyface finlayson

    Come on, it is quite funny.

  • Charlie Farlie

    Mick your hatred of Adams is beginning to seem like an agenda, rather than an impartial Journalists representation of modern political discussion. You do not address other political leaders with the same energy. Maybe thats ok in a political discussion forum but as the editor I think evenhandedness above personal invective is more suitable. And I think this applies regardless of what political personality is discussed. Just an observation which you obviously will disagree with as you are entitled to.

  • mickfealty

    That’s probably fair comment actually.

  • Hugh Davison

    Nostra culpa, if you’re taking the rap for others, or meae culpae if you feel you’ve sinned more than once (I think). Accepted in any case.
    From latest coverage it sounds as if a small s**tstorm is developing over this in Washington. Oh dear!

  • mickfealty

    Pre election nerves I expect. Something and nothing.

  • Glenn

    This is what Gerry Adams said on the BBC yesterday when he was asked about being refused entry into the Whitehouse.

    “There is the right of any country to protect itself, and have security”.

    Really Gerry, really.

  • Glenn

    This is what Gerry Adams said on the BBC yesterday when he was asked about being refused entry into the Whitehouse.

    “There is the right of any country to protect itself, and have security”.

  • Glenn

    There are reports coming in that he was heard shouting in through the Whitehouse letter box, I haven’t gone away ya know.

  • mickfealty

    Far too complicated. The truth is that Ireland has been dropping as a priority in Washington under Obama. If Clinton gets in, you certainly won’t see anything this happening again. This is low level generic screw up in my view.

  • Tadhg Curran

    > There is the right of any country to protect itself, and have security

    Absolutely. Luckily, Ireland has had brave volunteers like McGuinness, Kelly etc. who have stood guard against the foreign invaders.

  • Hugh Davison

    Silly me. I’ve just discovered that resetting the search criterion from ‘Best’ to ‘Oldest’ moves Pete up and David down the list. Who determines the ‘Best’ rankings, I wonder. Can’t argue with chronology. Sorry to harp on.

  • Charlie Farlie

    Fair enough, your honesty is appreciated. Just gets to the point sometimes that if you have a valid point about Adams, it can get lost in the knowledge that your personal opinion is quite to the forefront. Presenting what evidence you have should be sufficient enough to allow the reader to form an opinion, or else it just becomes like the rest of the partial media outlets. But i do appreciate the honesty above!

  • Tochais Siorai

    I’d say it’s a long time since Gerry had to take a bus anywhere.

    Although maybe now he’s old enough for the bus pass………

  • Glenn

    Would this be the same McGuinness who said he left the IRA in 1974 and is now administering British rule??? There are only two Kellys that come to mind both are bomers, one killed 9 innocent men, women and children in a sectarian bomb attack. When the bomb he had went off in his terrorist partner’s hand. The other is again administrating British rule but back in the day shot a prison officer in the head at point blank range, when trying to escape from prison. A murderous attack just like the current republican terror campaign, however Adams states “There is the right of any country to protect itself, and have security”. So lets hope these current and former republican terrorists who dealt in death and destruction, are caught and dealt with by the state. By the states Law and courts that Sinn Fein/IRA have signed up to, well some of the time.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Charlie, most “impartiality” in journalism is simply a case of the reader not having as yet identified the agendas. My wife, an anthropologist, tells me that the claim “impartiality” is simply a power discourse, for as F.S.L. Lyons once said, (can’t remember the exact quote, but it goes like this) who of us since the discovery of unconscious motivation, can still have the effrontery to claim complete objectivity.

  • Charlie Farlie

    Agree SeaanUiNeill, most opinion is subjective. However, there’s a skill in subtlety and persuasion, and then there is just unambiguous prejudice, which Mick tends to have a dose of when it comes to Adams – I don’t think he minds me saying that. When unconscious motivation, becomes open agenda in political discourse, then we have a necessity to question it. Especially due to the lack of objectivity as illustrated in your point above. We still live in a supposed democracy where facts should dictate the beginning of all argument. I was merely making the point that in Mick’s Role as editor, maybe his role is to display those facts and start the argument, rather than intertwine his own opinion with them in the initial article which in nearly all cases is a negative on Adams. Don’t mean to lecture Mick, he took my point in good grace above.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Excellent reply, thank you Charlie, and I should confess something of a taste for hyperbole in most of my comments! And yes, as you say, “good grace”……..

  • Glenn

    When it comes to shinner administrative errors, the shinner’s hold election after election until they get the result they want. Maybe Gerry thought the American secret service should have just put him on the list, just like the shinners do for former MP’s they like. Is it because he’s not a woman???

  • john

    Why should he be embarsed hesat down with a meal with O,bama next day,the embarrassement must be sitting down with a president that feels no embrassement bombing civilalians to protect thier own interests that are not in any human beings interests,i did not get beyond a secondary school education,but i can see the world is greed led

  • SeaanUiNeill

    And Charlie, I should declare my hand and note that my defence of Mick’s concern with Gerry comes from my own inability to put both “Gerry Adams” and “facts” in the same sentence without having my tongue firmly in my cheek. But I’d feel generous enough to apply the same approach to, for example, Peter Robinson!

    I strive for as much objectivity as I can muster, and try not to entirely confuse it with my “a plague on both their houses” attitude, but am all too aware of how even the most dedicated efforts will retain the colour of who I am, as Lyons suggested. Personally I think Mick and the other adjudicators do an excellent job of maintaining a forum of genuine free debate, with a decent splash of what approximates “objectivity” in this post-modernist world and am certain that Gerry can readily absorb all that is thrown at him from his past showing. We must be allowed our (slightly) malicious fun, we can do little else in a world where “facts” are too expensive a commodity to allow for any but the most powerful!

    To my mind Gerry’s real mistake was to identify “The Honour of Ireland” (to employ Casement’s commonly used phrase) with his own personal honour in some kind of inflated “Mise Éire”. If he had turned the whole thing into an enormous Joke he’d have made the White House look foolish, possibly gained sympathy, but this sort of frontal attack simply makes him look petulant. I wonder if the cuts are now seriously affecting just how much Irish politicians are able to spend on the Professional PR that has served SF so well to date?