|Higgins: Denial of Visa to Gerry Adams Sends Wrong Signal From U.S. Regarding Northern Ireland Peace Process|
|November 8, 2005|
Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27), a member of the House Ad-Hoc Committee for Irish Affairs, released the following statement concerning the continuing State Department refusal to grant a visa to Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.
“I strongly oppose the denial of a fundraising visa by the U.S. State Department to Gerry Adams,” said Higgins. “This sends a negative signal at a critical point in the Northern Ireland peace process and about the relationship between the U.S. and Northern Ireland specifically. Given the recent moves by the IRA, led by Gerry Adams, to decommission its weapons, this unfortunate choice by the U.S. government is poor policy and an imprudent decision.”
Last night Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams cancelled his planned fundraising trip to the U.S. because of the refusal of the State Department to grant him a fundraising visa. In July, the IRA announced that it was ordering an end to its armed campaign and instructing all members to pursue objectives exclusively through peaceful means and to disengage in any other activities whatsoever. All IRA units were ordered to dump arms, and the IRA said it would work to put its arms beyond use as quickly as possible, making sure it would be verified by international monitors and two witnesses from the Protestant and Catholic clergy. In September, the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning announced that the IRA had fully decommissioned all of its weapons.