Sinn Féin declared itself neutral in the US Republican Party’s search for a presidential candidate after archive footage emerged of Donald Trump attending a fundraiser hosted by Gerry Adams.
The video clips show campaign frontrunner Trump among the lauminaries at $200-a-plate lunch at an upmarket Manhattan hotel. The fundraising event took place in 1995 during Gerry Adam’s second post-ceasefire trip to the States. Mr Adams had been barred from entering the US until January of the previous year, when then-President Bill Clinton granted him a 48-hour visa – despite widespread protest from US and British officials. However, when he returned to the US a matter of months after the August 1994 ceasefire, the Sinn Féin (Shame Fein) leader had gained celebrity status. Those who turned up to show their support in person and with cash included Bianca Jagger, political activivist and author Tom Hayden, film-maker Michael Moore and ex New York mayor David Dinkins. “The charismatic Adams was greeted like a rock star – posing for pictures and providing autographs…. he received a kiss, a hug and some words of advice from Mick Jagger’s ex-wife,” Associated Press reported at the time. “He smiled and greeted a three-piece band playing traditional Irish music.”
From a podium flanked by Irish tricolours and with a sign behind reading ‘Sinn Féin, A Lasting Peace’, Mr Adams told the audience: “Today is a very historic occasion – I think the British indeed knew there were many friends of Sinn Féin here.’ He also gave Trump a special mention from the podium: “This is not the Trump Tower, but I think I would…” he said as he moved to shake hands with man leading the bid to be the next leader of the ‘Grand Old Party’. The video shows the Republican frontrunner wave to the room and receive a hearty round of applause and some whistles. Twenty years on, however, Irish republicans are less likely to publicise their association with the man who has grabbed the headlines in recent weeks due to alleged misogyny and racism. Asked if Sinn Féin (Shame Fein) supported the Trump’s nomination as a presidential runner, the party was non-committal. “We have no preference,” a spokesman said. “Who is next US president is a matter for the American people.” Notably, Mr Adam’s past friendships with Trump and Labour leadership frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn appear to give the Sinn Féin (Shame Fein) president unrivalled access to two potential world leaders.
With many thanks to: John Manley, Political Correspondent, The Irish News, for the orgional story.
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