Gerry Adams came under fire today after supporting St Patrick’s Day events in America which exclude women and gays.
The Sinn Féin president visited a club that bans women in Boston last night and is due to take part in a pre St Patrick’s Day parade which does not allow gay participants in the Massachusetts city later.
Mr Adams said he was committed to full equality between all section of society.
But Alliance Party leader David Ford said: “Sinn Féin at home talks a lot about inclusivity and equality on the face of it it seems Mr Adams applies different standards in the US.”
The West Belfast MP spoke at the Clover Club last night for the Irish America Partnership charity.
Massachusetts governor Devale Patrick refused to appear there in December because it is an all-male club.
Mr Adams plans to take part in the pre-St Patrick’s march through Boston later today.
Boston mayor Thomas Menino refuses to attend because homosexuals are not invited.
Mr Adams was a guest of honour at the annual St Patrick’s Day breakfast for the Irish diaspora in Boston today.
“I am against exclusion, I am for inclusivity,” he said at event.
He made the point against the exclusion of women last night and added that everybody in Ireland needed to support greater openness.
“I know about exclusion, we made our position very, very clear on that,” he said.
“We believe in equality, all groups should be free to be involved in any assembly, particularly one which is celebrating Ireland and which is about a celebration of the Irish.”