21 May 2005


Sinn Féin rep O'Hare refused US access

21/05/2005 - 08:51:38

Sinn Féin’s Washington representative Rita O’Hare has been refused permission to visit America next week.

She had been planning to accompany Martin McGuinness on a trip he is making to New York and Washington.

Mr McGuiness has been given permission to travel and is expected to meet US government officials while in Washington.

American officials say the decision to refuse Rita O’Hare a visa does not represent a change of policy towards Sinn Féin. She is not eligible for a visa because of her IRA past.

She has a conviction for trying to smuggle explosives into Portlaoise Prison. She has to apply for a waiver each time she wants to visit the United States.

She has travelled to the States regularly in the last six years.

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