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28 August 1997 Edition

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Huge interest in Sinn Féin's US trip

By Mick Naughton.

The level of interest, particularly in New York City, in the six day visit to the United States next week of Sinn Féin's elected parliamentary representatives, Caoimhghín O Caoláin, Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams has been so high that the Friends of Sinn Féin organisation have had to change the venue of its 4 September fund raiser in New York from a 300 seat ballroom at the Plaza Hotel to the Waldorf Astoria's 500 seater ballroom.

Leading political and public officials, labour leaders, business and community leaders have signed up to many events on the Sinn Féin team's itinerary in Washington DC, New York, Chicago and San Francisco and the growing interest was hailed by Sinn Féin's representative to the US Mairéad Keane when she spoke by telephone to An Phoblacht.

``We are very pleased to see this level of interest in Sinn Féin's visit to the US and the effort to establish a lasting peace in Ireland. This is a high-powered delegation being invited to the US and we would hope Americans will avail of the opportunity to hear their message of hope in our future.

``From the tremendous show of support we've received in New York and throughout the United States it is obvious that Americans of all ancestry share our excitment about this historic moment.''

Confirming the trio's schedule beginning next Tuesday 2 September, Keane added that several important meetings have been arranged in Washington DC, followed by a hectic round of engagements in New York, the American mid-west and west coast. Meetings with the editoral boards of most of the mainstream broadsheet newspapers have also been scheduled before the three return to Ireland prior to the talks beginning on 15 September.

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