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Gerry Adams says others are just jealous of Sinn Féin's $500-a-plate New York dinner

The Sinn Féin leader says the annual fundraiser is not elitist.

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams
Image: RollingNews.ie/PA

GERRY ADAMS HAS said that other political parties are jealous of the party’s annual fundraising dinner in New York.

The Sinn Féin president was speaking after the hugely successful Friends of Sinn Féin (FOSF) fundraising dinner in New York last week where over $400,000 was raised.

Guests at the cocktail hour and dinner in the Times Square Sheraton Hotel paid $500 or €460 for an evening of traditional Irish music, steak and a keynote speech from Adams. He was accompanied by the party’s deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald.

The pair faced criticism for being in the States while the Dáil debated the Finance and Social Welfare Bills. Labour’s Eric Byrne said the two Sinn Féin TDs prioritised “rubbing shoulders with super-wealthy Americans” over their constituents.

Back in Leinster House today, Adams insisted that the dinner was not elitist for the people who were there as they could and wanted to contribute.

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“The fact is that Sinn Féin engages and we’re very proud of our engagement with the diaspora and particularly with Irish-Americans,” Adams said today.

“We regularly go there, a whole range of us, and we inform them, we brief them, we open ourselves up to questions.

They want to support what’s happening here and given that they were joined by whatever proportion of the half-a-million of people who were scattered out of this State because of the government’s polices, they want to see a different setup here and they’re playing their part in all of that.

Adams said it was a “very, very good and a very successful event” and insisted:

I think the other parties are engaging in begrudgery and jealousy.

Organisers said last week’s dinner was the most successful yet with US-based trade unions and construction companies with Irish links among the main benefactors on the night.

Sinn Féin has said the money raised goes towards funding FOSF’s activities in the States such as political lobbying and travel and is not spent on its political activities in the Republic of Ireland.

FOSF paid for Adams’ and McDonald’s economy class flights to the US this week.

Steak and Gerry: Inside Sinn Féin’s hugely successful New York fundraiser

Read: Here’s what’s on the menu for Sinn Féin’s €500-a-plate NY fundraiser

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Hugh O'Connell

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