Northern Irish party leaders off the White House guest list

Gerry Adams, who recently stepped down as president of Irish republican party Sinn Fein, will attend the famous St. Patrick’s Day reception at the White House in Washington on March 15, but his successor, Mary Lou McDonald, has not been invited.

Neither has the leader of the other main party in Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

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The Irish Times reports that the lack of an invitation is due to the failure of politicians in the Northern Ireland Assembly to agree to form a government, leaving the province ungoverned since January 2017.

The White House reception, where the Irish prime minister (taoiseach) traditionally presents a crystal bowl of shamrock to the U.S. president, is the showcase event for Irish-Americans. It has taken place since the 1950s, and as a rule all the senior political and social leaders of Ireland and Northern Ireland are invited. (See other WikiTribune coverage of Irish politics.)

The DUP is currently propping up the British government of Theresa May, as its 10 MPs are supporting her Conservative Party with a “confidence and supply deal” to enable her majority votes in the UK parliament.

Help us expand this story: Do you have an opinion on the state of Irish politics? Is the United States still an important player there?

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