Deirdre Heenan: Sinn Féin granted a free run in the US by the complacency of its opponents

The party’s advertising blitz in the American media is part of an attempt to shape the narrative around a referendum on unity

Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Féin leader: the party is mounting a large promotional drive in the American media Pic: Fergal Phillips

Last summer, at an online event organised by Friends of Sinn Féin, the party’s US supporters’ group, Gerry Adams urged the audience to “come forward, lobby and join the campaign for Irish unity”. Achieving Irish unity, the party’s former president told attendees, was now “a doable project”.

Last week, Friends of Sinn Féin placed half-page advertisements in two of America’s biggest newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post, calling for a referendum on ...