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Gerry Adams is off to New York to see the Clintons tomorrow - but he's flying economy class

Mary Lou McDonald caused controversy when it emerged she flew business class to Australia last month.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Updated 8pm

SINN FÉIN PRESIDENT Gerry Adams is flying to New York tomorrow at the invitation of Bill and Hillary Clinton – but in contrast to his deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald, he will be flying economy class.

McDonald was criticised earlier this month after it emerged that she flew business class on a recent party visit to Australia at a cost of around €4,000.

She insisted at the time that the flights were paid for by party funds and that no taxpayers’ money was involved. McDonald said that flying business class was “extremely helpful just given the scale of the tour itself”.

Sinn Féin, which has been a vocal critic of austerity in recent years, received €720,000 in State funding last year and its TDs make much of their claim to only take home the average industrial wage with the rest of their €87,000 annual salaries going into party coffers.

Adams is in New York tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday attending the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative – a humanitarian organisation established by former US president Bill Clinton after he left office.

Sinn Féin said he was invited by the Clintons and that he will fly out tomorrow – in economy class – before returning on Wednesday.

Adams is due to attend the National Ploughing Championships in Co Laois on Thursday.

First published 8am

Read: Mary Lou hits back at criticism of €4,000 trip Down Under

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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