The Sinn Féin president has insisted she does not feel snubbed after not receiving an invitation to the White House for St Patrick’s Day.
Neither Mary Lou McDonald nor the party’s leader in the North Michelle O'Neill received an invitation from the US President.
However, speaking from Washington, she said she is not getting precious over it.
She insisted that her predecessor Gerry Adams - who has been invited – should attend the ceremony despite the snub:
Mary Lou McDonald says she doesn’t feel snubbed about not getting an invite to the White House pic.twitter.com/j4hU0gjDzF
— Sean Defoe (@SeanDefoe) March 14, 2018
“I don’t feel that I was snubbed,” she said. “It is a matter for the White House who they invite as their guests.”
“Of course Gerry should attend
“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.
“There are many celebrations marking that occasion and I think it is entirely appropriate actually that Gerry Adams - as one of the main architects of that agreement - would be at the White House.
“So no he should not snub the White House. He shouldn't be snubbing anybody.”
DUP leader Arlene Foster was not invited either - with the lack of an Executive in Northern Ireland thought to be the reason.
Ms McDonald said a Special US Envoy to Northern Ireland could help bring the stalemate to an end – pointing to the success of the role in the past:
“We have just come from a meeting at the State Department and we have been assured that in fact that process is underway,” she said. “To identify a representative to be part of the process.”
“I think history has demonstrated that the United States has the capacity to bring a very positive influence to bear on our process.
“I think that is still the case.”
The special envoy one of the things being considered this week as the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visits Washington DC.
Mr Varadkar is due to meet with US President Donald Trump tomorrow – and has pledged to invite him on a visit to Ireland.
He is expected to use his meeting with the president to emphasise the strength of Irish-US relations and highlight the case of the undocumented Irish in the US.