Well, it wasn’t too difficult to foresee, but as suggested yesterday, the Irish Examiner and the Irish Independent are reporting today that the US administration have decided not to invite SF to the Whitehouse St Patrick’s Day event.. oh.. and no invites either for any other political parties.. Irish Government representatives only.The Irish Independent sums up the reasons behind the decision –
President Bush has decided to bar the republicans because they have been linked to the Northern Bank robbery and other IRA crime.
But he has listened to appeals that Sinn Fein should not be singled out for exclusion and the ban will now also apply to all the North’s political parties, including the SDLP, the DUP and the Ulster Unionists.
The harder stance of the White House was signalled in the Dail yesterday by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. He said the decision had already been taken by the US Government. He did not spell out precisely what that decision involves but it emerged last night that there will be a much-curtailed series of events involving only representatives of the Irish Government.
So, rather than allow SF to ‘play the victim card’ all the parties will be equally victimised.. Hmmm.. It will be interesting to see how the various parties respond to that one – although you should already be able to see what the official line on this one will be – “much-curtailed series of events due to other considerations..”, perhaps?
Keep writing guys.. What a lovely bowl.. My, what a lovely bowl.. Gosh, what a lovely bowl..
According to the BBC, quoting their US sources, the decision has not yet been made.. though it’s difficult to see them choosing any other option.