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Sunday 17 December 2017

SF's Ferris held at Boston Airport for 'several hours'

Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris (Justin Farrelly)
Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris (Justin Farrelly)

Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris was "held for several hours" by authorities at Boston Airport, according to party leader Gerry Adams.

Convicted IRA gunrunner Ferris is believed to have been stopped and questioned by immigration officials on Wednesday after arriving in the city to participate in St Patrick's events. The claim was made after Mr Adams launched a blistering attack on officials after he was denied access to an event in the White House.

While his party colleagues passed security checks at an event hosted by President Barack Obama, Mr Adams left after being made to wait for 90 minutes.

Sinn Fein has now alleged that its representatives have been subjected to "additional security procedures and delays" by the US authorities.

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In a statement, Mr Adams said the party had raised its grievances with the US authorities in private in the past. He compared his exclusion to the civil rights icon Rosa Parks - a claim that was ridiculed by politicians in Ireland. He added that the State Department apologised for the "situation" at the White House.

Efforts to contact Mr Ferris proved unsuccessful last night, but a Sinn Fein spokesman also said he was held up by immigration. A spokeswoman for Boston Airport was unable to provide a response at the time of writing.

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