Category: Archive

Reps. back Adams right to fundraise

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

And that very visit could be in jeopardy if the specific Adams fundraising component is denied by the U.S. government.
Seven members of the House of Representatives have signed on to a statement in which they say they “strongly oppose efforts to ban Sinn Fein fundraising in the United States.”
The signatories include the Republican chairman of the Friends of Ireland group in Congress, Rep. James Walsh, and Rep. Richie Neal, a Democratic co-chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on Irish Affairs.
The group plays up its bipartisan composition in a statement in which they express “in the strongest possible terms our opposition to any effort that would prohibit Sinn Fein from raising funds.”
“We urge the U.S. Department of State to lift the fundraising ban immediately. It is our belief that this decision is unwarranted, and may have a negative and unintended impact on the progress that has been made in the Northern Ireland peace process,” the congressmen state while pointing to an “extraordinary sequence of recent events” has helped move that process significantly forward.
The signatories pointed to the International Monitoring Commission published eport “which characterized the IRA’s transition to exclusively peaceful and democratic means as ‘encouraging.'”
And they highlighted the British government’s decision to lift financial sanctions it had imposed on Sinn Fein.
“The U.S. Department of State should follow suit,” the statement said.
“We believe that the Sinn Fein leadership has kept its word and honored its commitments. At this critical moment in the peace process, they should not be penalized for delivering on their promises,” it added.
“Every political party from Northern Ireland has the right to fundraise in the United States. We are simply calling for a level playing field. The ban that prevents Sinn Fein from fundraising in the United States should be lifted promptly.”
In addition to Walsh and Neal, the statement was also signed by reps. Joe Crowley, John Sweeney, Eliot Engel, Frank Pallone and Brian Higgins.
Adams is due to be the keynote speaker at a Friends of Sinn F

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