Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams is in the U.S. this week where he is set to brief political leaders and Irish America on political developments.
On Tuesday, Mr. Adams attended a memorial Mass in Washington, D.C. for Martin McGuinness.
He will also meet with the Congressional Friends of Ireland group and the State Department to update them on political negotiations in Northern Ireland and the fallout from Brexit.
“The Congressional Friends of Ireland Committee has been a good friend to Ireland and to the peace process going back over two decades,” said Mr. Adams.
“My meetings this week will allow me the opportunity to update Irish America, the State Department, and Capitol Hill on recent developments in the political process, the failure to reach agreement at the start of this month, and widely held concerns across the island about the damaging consequences of Brexit.
“These have been heightened in recent days following a week of confusing Brexit negotiations between the European Union and the British government which suggest that the Tories are ill-prepared for Brexit, have no clear plan, and have little concern about the impact of a hard economic border on the island of Ireland.”
Mr. Adams said he will tell Irish American and congressional leaders that Sinn Féin is committed to the restoration of the political institutions [in Northern Ireland] “but this can only be achieved on the basis of equality and respect, and the implementation of outstanding commitments arising from the Good Friday and subsequent agreements.”
The Adams visit comes after a public spat between the DUP and the Conservative government at Westminster, this after the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, said that the £1 billion secured by the DUP as part of their deal to prop up the British government was subject to Stormont being restored.
DUP MP, Sammy Wilson, called on Brokenshire to “give a straight answer” insisting that this was not the case. He said it was made clear to the DUP that the money would be available as long as they supported the government.
Northern Ireland has been without an Executive at Stormont since the late Martin McGuinness collapsed the institutions over the DUP’s conduct while in government.
Negotiations to reinstate the power-sharing government have so far failed to reach an agreement.
Meanwhile, Martin McGuinness was remembered Tuesday when members of the congressional Friends of Ireland and others gathered for the memorial at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Capitol Hill.
The service included a eulogy from Congressman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) co-chair of the Friends of Ireland. It was followed by an informal reception.
McGuinness was previously memorialized in April in a Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City which was addressed by a number of individuals headed by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell, architect of the Good Friday Agreement.
This article originally featured in the Irish Echo. You can read more from them here.