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

The 20th annual Friends of Sinn Féin fundraiser was the organisation’s best yet.

OVER $400,000 WAS raised at the annual Friends of Sinn Féin (FOSF) fundraising dinner in New York last night with guests treated to cocktails, traditional Irish music, steak and a keynote speech from  Gerry Adams.

The Sinn Féin president was in the Big Apple along with deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald for the 20th annual dinner which cost $500 a head (or €460) and attracted around 680 people to the Sheraton Hotel in Times Square.

As guests arrived for the cocktail hour in the Metropolitan West Ballroom, traditional Irish musicians played songs including The Town that I Loved so Well, Grace and Whiskey in the Jar.

FT5S-Friends-of-Sinn-Fein-Musicians Source: Frances Mulraney/

As we revealed last night, guests dined on a meal of Mediterranean salad to start, with grilled filet mignon for mains and pastries and cookies for dessert.

FT5S-Friends-of-Sinn-Fein-Dinner-Table The meal at the FOSF dinner Source: Frances Mulraney/ reports that one of FOSF’s founding members Fay Devlin, a Manhattan-based construction company boss, said it was the most successful fundraising dinner in the organisation’s two-decade history, with almost 100 tables sold.

US-based trade unions and construction companies with Irish links were the main benefactors on the night, the New York-based website’s Frances Mulraney reports.

Sinn Féin has said the money raised goes towards funding FOSF’s activities in the States such as political lobbying and travel. The organisation paid for Adams’ and McDonald’s economy class flights to the US this week.

FT5S-Friends-of-Sinn-Fein-Stage Source: Frances Mulraney/

At the beginning of his keynote speech, Adams addressed the controversy at home over the fact that he and McDonald are missing key Dáil debates on the Social Welfare and Finance bills.

“Mary Lou and I are coming back. We will see you in the Dáil and we will hold you to account for all of the things that you haven’t done, despite all of your promises in the last election to do,” he told attendees.

The Irish Times’ US correspondent Simon Carswell reported that this remark drew a loud applause from the audience.

As we reported earlier, Adams also spoke at length about the “contrived” political crisis in the North and of the fear Sinn Féin is instilling in its political opponents.

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

Gerry Adams: Our opponents fear us

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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