The Alliance Party’s David Alderdice met and congratulated Senator McCain in Washington DC on Wednesday night.
Sen. McCain had made a keynote speech at the annual American Ireland Fund dinner in which he clearly stated that there was no place for the IRA and Sinn Fein needed to face he challenge.
Dr Alderdice was encouraged by the palpable mood change in Irish America this St Patrick’s Day. He stated:
“The presence of the McCartney sisters at this year’s St Patrick’s events in the US has given the Irish American community here something very tangible and real to think about. There is now little space for any romantic notion about terrorism and violence. That is why some of us are here in DC to emphasise that in the important and informal conversations with influential Americans.”
Before meeting Sen McCain, Councillor Alderdice spoke with Congressman Peter King and thanked him for his recent statement regarding the need for the IRA to disband.
“Gerry Adams needs to listen very carefully to people like Peter King who have listened to him very attentively over the last 10 years and more.
“I have spoken recently to Sinn Fein representatives who have point blank denied any republican involvement in criminality. That is as plausible as saying that there are no loyalists committing criminal acts.
“I have disagreed vehemently with Peter King over the years either when he was in Belfast or when we were visiting America. He has been a big fan of Adams since the visa days, and when someone like he is telling republicans that they are facing a crossroads they need to pay attention.”