London party

State papers: London “apoplexic” on Gerry Adams obtains a visa to go to the United States

U.S. officials feared allowing Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams to enter the country in 1994 as part of the interim peace process amid concerns over public sensitivity to terrorism following the bombing 1993 bombing against the World Trade Center in New York.

r Adams was allowed entry into the United States with the Irish government taking a neutral stance on the visa issue. SDLP leader John Hume was strongly in favor of allowing Mr. Adams to visit New York, but the British government vehemently opposed it.

London would have been furious that the case was even considered.

Confidential documents released as part of the State Papers revealed how the issue of Mr. Adams obtaining a US visa became a major issue between the three governments and parties in Northern Ireland in 1994.

US President Bill Clinton stepped in to ensure the temporary visa was granted.

US Vice President Al Gore then admitted the administration had “made a bet” with the visa of the leader of Sinn Féin.

Mr. Adams wished to travel to attend a conference at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City organized in February 1994 by an American non-profit organization.

All northern party leaders have been invited with the aim of advancing the peace process.

A document said United States National Security Council member Nancy Soderberg informed the Irish Ambassador to Washington that London was “apoplectic” about the suggestion that the leader of Sinn Féin be allowed to travel to the United States. United.

American officials themselves were concerned – not just because of the apparent stance the Clinton administration would appear to have after the visit.

US officials feared Mr. Adams might meet with Republican fundraisers and could, therefore, embarrass Washington and its allies.

Ms Soderberg told Irish authorities that it would be helpful for Mr Adams to issue a statement deploring and “renouncing” the violence.

She warned Irish diplomats there was “blood on the ground” in the the Clinton administration on even the appearance of engaging with Mr. Adams, given the recent IRA bombing campaign in Britain.