SDLP accuse Gerry Adams of 'breath-taking hypocrisy' over White House visit
SINN Féin President Gerry Adams has been accused of "breath-taking hypocrisy" after saying he would attend a St Patrick's Day reception at the White House if invited.
Protesters and elected representatives angry at the actions of new US President Donald Trump - including a travel ban on the citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries - have urged Taoiseach Enda Kenny to call off his trip to the White House on St Patrick's Day.
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has said that he would refuse an invite to a St Patrick's Day event, but the Sinn Féin President has confirmed he would attend if invited.
"At this critical time in the Irish peace process it does not make sense for Irish leaders to exclude ourselves from an opportunity to engage on critical issues."
He also said there was a need to be mindful that the "St Patrick’s Day celebrations are bigger than President Trump."
The SDLP's Claire Hanna however accused the Sinn Féin president of "riding two horses" at the same time.
"If Adams goes to the White House he will be representing Sinn Féin only - he has no government or economic role to hide behind. Though no longer a surprise to anyone, the party routinely rides two horse simultaneously," she said.
"There is no doubt that party representatives will join in condemning Trump's actions, but they should be asking the Sinn Féin President whether he prioritises principles and solidarity with those at risk because of Trump, or Sinn Féin's fundraising machine."