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Sinn Féin advert to run in New York Times as Mary Lou McDonald heads Stateside

McDonald will travel to New York today as well as Washington DC where she will raise issues such as Northern Ireland and Brexit.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

Political Correspondent Christina Finn reporting from New York

SINN FÉIN LEADER Mary Lou McDonald and deputy leader Michelle O’Neill will travel to the US today where they will reiterate calls for a united Ireland.

McDonald will travel to New York as well as Washington DC where she will hope to garner support from Irish-American political heavy-weights on issues such as Northern Ireland and Brexit.

During the trip, they will brief members of the US Administration and senior political leaders on Capitol Hill.

McDonald will address the US Council for Foreign Relations in New York and give a speech on ‘Irish unity in our time’ at Fordham University.

Sinn Féin is also set to roll out adverts in several US newspapers again.

The first advert will be published tomorrow in The New York Times. 

The ads follow on from a similar campaign last year which was organised by Sinn Féin’s US fundraising arm.

Some hit out against the high-profile adverts running in the midst of Brexit tensions, but the media campaigns are indicative of growing efforts by Sinn Féin to highlight the call for a referendum on Irish unity abroad.

download (1) The advert that ran in the New York Times and Washington Post last year. Source: Sinn Féín

Ahead of her trip, McDonald said:

“Michelle O’Neill and I are travelling to the US next week to attend events hosted by President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, the Congressional Friends of Ireland, and Irish American civic leaders. 

“It is now less than two months to the forthcoming Assembly elections and the DUP’s continued blocking of meetings of the Executive, boycotting of the North-South Ministerial Council and refusal to countenance serving alongside a republican First Minister.  

“Their approach has been spurred on by the British government of Boris Johnson, who have not honoured an agreement to implement the Irish Language Act and are still pursuing an unconditional amnesty which is opposed by all – except their own military.

“Our message in the US will be clear. Now is the time to assert the primacy of politics and democracy, implement agreements, and commit to abide by conventional democratic norms. That holds true for the Good Friday Agreement, for the Brexit Protocol, for reconciling our past, and for the discussions on our future constitutional future now underway.

“As we discuss the outworking of the Irish peace process we are mindful that the people of Ukraine are fighting for the very survival of their country. It was unthinkable that conflict would return to Europe. Then it happened. We cannot and must not take peace and stability for granted. Its preserve is paramount.”

St Patrick’s Day events

During the visit to New York, the Sinn Féin leaders will also meet with Irish American community organisations in New York before travelling to Washington to meet with Congressional leaders and members of the Biden Administration.

The leaders will also attend a number of events to mark St. Patrick’s Day. 

McDonald will also attend the Ireland Funds dinner which the Taoiseach as well as high-profile American politicians.

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On Thursday, McDonald will attend the Speaker’s Lunch on Capitol Hill, as well as the traditional shamrock ceremony in the White House.

It has long been a tradition for the leader of Sinn Féin to attend St Patrick’s Day celebrations at the White House.

McDonald will be pleased that the invitation was forthcoming this year from US President Joe Biden, as in one previous year neither of the leaders of Sinn Féin or the DUP were invited to the White House for the traditional St Patrick’s Day reception.

In 2018, Mary Lou McDonald and Arlene Foster failed to receive an invite, while Gerry Adams and DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr were both invited to come along by the then US President Donald Trump.

At the time, McDonald said she was not concerned about being left out of the celebrations stating that she did not feel as though she was “snubbed”.

However, with Sinn Féin riding high in the opinion polls of late, McDonald will be keen to garner as much support Stateside as she can.

The latest Sunday Times/B&A poll published today sees Sinn Féin at 33 points (-1 in a month), Fianna Fáil on 23 (down one point), Fine Gael on 24 (an increase of four points) and the Greens on four points (down one point).

TheJournal.ie’s Political Correspondent Christina Finn will be bringing you all the latest updates from Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s visit to Washington DC this week including his meeting with US President Joe Biden on Thursday.

Stay up-to-date by following @christinafinn8, @thejournal_ie or @TJ_Politics  and TheJournal.ie’s Facebook page.     

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