Labour leader says proclamation of 'Gerry Adams Day' in New York is 'unfortunate and inappropriate'

Mayor Bill de Blasio made the announcement at a breakfast in the city yesterday

Labour leader says proclamation of 'Gerry Adams Day' in New York is 'unfortunate and inappropriate'

Gerry Adams (left) with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at a St Patrick's Day breakfast event at Gracie Mansion in New York. Picture by: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

The Labour Party leader has described the proclamation of a 'Gerry Adams Day' in New York yesterday as "unfortunate and inappropriate".

The honour was announced yesterday by Mayor Bill de Blasio at a St Patrick's Day breakfast in the city, with Deputy Adams and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar among those present at the event.

Announcing the proclamation, Mayor de Blasio suggested: "History will remember Gerry Adams for being one of the people who did something truly heroic and truly revolutionary, who found a path to peace where others could not envision it. Many are alive today because of that."

Labour Leader Brendan Howlin says the Mayor of New York claims the announcement was inappropriate given the Taoiseach was present for the ceremony.

Speaking today, Deputy Howlin said: "I can only assume that the Taoiseach didn't know about this when he was there - if he had, I think it would have been inappropriate for him to be there, or to not make some comment in relation to it."

On the announcement itself, the Labour leader argued: "I thought that most in Irish-America now were forward-looking... that people understand the complexities of the Irish situation... that there are conflicting views in terms of nationality on the island of Ireland that need to be accommodated.

"I think it lacks any appreciation of the sophistication of the settlement that has been reached in recent times... or indeed of the real challenges now when we have no functioning Executive - in fact no functioning Assembly - in Northern Ireland."