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Mary Lou and Arlene haven't been invited to the White House - but Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley Jr have

The leaders of both parties are traditionally invited to the annual White House Patrick’s Day reception.

pjimage Source: PA Images

THE LEADERS OF Sinn Féin and the DUP haven’t been invited to the White House for traditional St Patrick’s Day reception. Not yet, at least.

Mary Lou McDonald and, it’s understood, Arlene Foster have yet to receive an invite to this Thursday’s reception.

However, former Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams and DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr have apparently been invited.

A Sinn Féin spokesperson confirmed that as things stand Adams has received an invite but McDonald has not.

“The issue of invites to the reception are a matter for the White House. We are awaiting to hear from them on the invite list and we expect to hear from them later in the week,” the party said in a statement.

It’s understood that the party is still hopeful that an invite may be extended.

A spokesperson for the DUP said that Arlene Foster will not be travelling to the US for the St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

“Mrs Foster has received a number of invitations to meet with key influencers in Washington and New York,” the spokesperson said. “She plans to fulfil these later in the year.

The DUP leader has asked deputy leader Nigel Dodds to attend a number of events Washington DC, including the Speaker’s Lunch, on behalf of the party.

Sinn Féin’s delegation to the US this week is three-strong, with McDonald joined by Adams and the party’s deputy leader Michelle O’Neill.

The leaders of both parties have traditionally been invited to the annual event each year since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 due to their role and participation in the peace process.

It’s believed that the lack of an invite for the two leaders this year may be related to the ongoing failure to return to power-sharing in the north.

The Northern Assembly at Stormont has been without a functioning executive since January of 2017.

McDonald officially took over from Adams last month, bringing a curtain down on his 35-year tenure as president.

With reporting by Christina Finn

TheJournal.ie’s political reporter Christina Finn will be bringing you all the latest updates from Leo Varadkar’s visit to Washington this week, including his meeting with US President Donald Trump on Thursday.

Stay up-to-date by following @ChristinaFinn8@TJ_Politics  and TheJournal.ie’s Facebook page.  

Read: Mary McAleese says her brother was ‘seriously, physically, sadistically abused by Malachy Finnegan’

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