Adams faces St Patrick's snub by Bush

The Bush administration has barred Gerry Adams from fundraising for Sinn Fein during his St Patrick's Day visit to Washington DC.

The Bush administration has barred Gerry Adams from fundraising for Sinn Fein during his St Patrick's Day visit to Washington DC.

President George Bush will not even shake hands with the Sinn Fein leader at a reception for Irish politicians in the White House on Friday, sources claim. But the President will hold a brief meeting with two Irish families who are still fighting to bring to justice IRA members involved in their brothers' murders.

In what one Washington insider called a 'smaller, more intimate St Patrick's Day reception' aside from the main White House event, Bush will meet the families of Joseph Rafferty, a Dublin man shot dead last year, allegedly by a leading IRA figure in the city, and the sisters of murdered Robert McCartney, from Belfast.

'The President will be seen shaking hands with the McCartney and Rafferty families at this smaller event for community leaders and people fighting for justice in Northern Ireland,' the source said.

Joseph Rafferty's sister Esther Uzell said she would ask Bush for help with her campaign. Her brother was shot in Dublin last April after receiving death threats from an IRA hit man who claimed he made sexual advances to his girlfriend. The Rafferty family allege there has been a republican cover-up similar to the one that protected the killers of McCartney.

'If I get the chance I will ask the President to urge Gerry Adams to call on those responsible for Joseph's murder to give themselves up,' Esther said.

Hugh Orde, the Chief Constable of Northern Ireland, wants leading Belfast loyalist Ayab Shoukri to be charged with directing terrorist acts, according to a senior detective. Orde was said to be 'livid' that Shoukri was granted bail last week, after being arrested when police raided a rehearsal for a UDA show of strength planned for last weekend.


Henry McDonald, Ireland editor

The GuardianTramp

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