Gerry Adams has been criticised for comparing his reported exclusion from a White House St Patrick’s Day event to the plight of American civil rights icon Rosa Parks.
Reports suggest that Mr Adams was refused entry to the event, where Enda Kenny presented Barack Obama with shamrock, after arriving with fellow party members Mary Lou McDonald and Martin McGuinness.
White House security personnel examined his documents, but after waiting 90 minutes and seeing no movement in the effort to gain him entrance he decided to leave, while Ms McDonald and Mr McGuinness continued into the event.
In a statement, Mr Adams said: “Sinn Féin will not sit at the back of the bus for anyone.
We are elected to represent citizens and we will do this. I am hopeful that the controversy around my White House invitation will help lead to a resolution of all these matters.”
Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary called his comments ‘absolutely ridiculous’.