“I’ve been invaluable to the White House”

I previously noted the difference in reaction from Sinn Féin to the continuation of the ban on fundraising activities for the party’s president Gerry Adams during his trip to the US. The BBC report that the reaction has now emerged, it’s not the ultimatum previously issued, but there are some note-worthy quotes in the UTV report, including this somewhat strange line from Adams, given the ban, in effect, has been in place since March last year, “It’s quite remarkable, I don’t understand why this restriction is being put on me. I’ve been invaluable to the White House, and I don’t understand why I can’t walk around the corner and go into a restaurant. I’m surprised and bewildered as to the rationale and the purpose.”From the UTV report –

Mr Adams also attacked the British and Irish government`s handling of the peace process, describing Dublin`s role as “disappointing”.

He said: “Not only does this go against the principles of equality and inclusion that are at the heart of the peace process, it is being used by those opposed to the Good Friday Agreement.

“It’s quite remarkable, I don’t understand why this restriction is being put on me.

“I’ve been invaluable to the White House, and I don’t understand why I can’t walk around the corner and go into a restaurant.

“I’m surprised and bewildered as to the rationale and the purpose.

“The issue is that the administration has chosen to treat Sinn Féin differently than it treats the other parties, and the peace process is based upon equality, and based upon inclusivity.

“And I find it quite remarkable, given the huge advances that have been made by Irish Republicans in Ireland last year and the IRA putting its weapons beyond use.

“Many people, Irish Americans and friends of Sinn Féin, are angry,” Adams said of the continued ban, but added that he would shake President Bush’s hand if he encountered him at Friday’s White House event at which other Northern Ireland leaders will also be present.

The BBC report notes that

Friends of Sinn Fein have decided to proceed with their gathering involving Mr Adams, but have agreed to refund donations for the breakfast to meet Washington’s restrictions.