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TDs to snub 4th of July party at the US ambassador's residence in Dublin tonight

Labour’s Aodhán Ó Ríordáin called for a boycott of the Independence Day celebrations.

US ambassador residence in Phoenix Park, Dublin.
US ambassador residence in Phoenix Park, Dublin.
Image: Shutterstock/Jurand

A NUMBER OF MINISTERS, party leaders and TDs are snubbing the US embassy’s annual Independence Day event this year.

The 4th of July celebration is to be held at the American ambassador’s residence in the Phoenix Park this evening.

Charge d’Affaires Reece Smyth will host the event titled United We Rock where there will be a garden cocktail reception featuring music by The US Army Rock Band, The Academic and Sibéal Ní Chasaide.

Junior Ministers Finian McGrath and John Halligan have both declined the invitations from the embassy.

A spokesperson for McGrath said the minister extended his apologies to the embassy a number of weeks ago.

It’s understood the minister had major concerns about attending the event, citing concerns over the Trump administration’s attitude towards the treatment of the Palestinian people, as well as the recent controversy over the separation of immigrant children from their parents in the US.

Palestine and immigration policy

Similarly, Halligan, who has long campaigned for the rights of Palestinians has said he has “serious concerns” about Trump’s administration of a number of issues in Palestine and US immigration policy.

Halligan and McGrath’s Independent Alliance colleague Shane Ross could not be contacted as to whether he will be attending tonight.

In addition to the two ministers not attending, Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin has said he will not be attending the event.

Joint leaders of the Social Democrats Roisín Shortall and Catherine Murphy have also said they will not be heading along.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan as well as all members of Solidarity-People Before Profit are also not attending.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin is the only party leader hoping to go to the event tonight, however, his attendance is contingent to the parliamentary party meeting not running over, said a party spokesperson.

Meanwhile, a Sinn Féin spokesperson confirmed that Mary Lou McDonald will not be attending this evening. The Taoiseach will not be at the event due to him currently being in New York.

A spokesperson for Fine Gael said the party has no official policy on whether TDs and senators should attend tonight, stating that it is a decision for the individual politician to make.

A number of other ministers were contacted by TheJournal.ie, but only Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy confirmed that he would not be attending as he is dealing with Private Member’s Business in the Dáil this evening.

Labour Senator Aodhán Ó Ríordáin spurred on the boycott by calling on politicians to snub the event last week.

Today, he said on Twitter that he is “glad to see cross-party boycott of ‘Fourth of July’ party, adding that “some parties could do more”. 

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