Clinton lunches with New York Irish, and Gerry Adams

A copy of Irish America magazine features a cover of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before she is inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame on March 16, 2015 in New York City.

NEW YORK - Hillary Clinton lunched with Irish and Irish American personalities, including Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, in New York on Monday at an event honoring her contribution to the Irish peace process.

Decked out in emerald green, the former US Secretary of State and likely 2016 presidential candidate, beamed and chatted to well-wishers ahead of her acceptance speech.

The event could prove an opportunity to put aside controversy after the furor over her use of a private email account while in office, but some may question her appearance alongside Republican leader Adams.

The email scandal and questions over foreign donations to a family foundation have cast a shadow over what was supposed to have been a well-orchestrated rollout of her White House campaign.

Monday's event inducts her into the Irish America Hall of Fame for her contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, which ended decades of conflict between largely Catholic republicans and protestant Unionists in the British province.

Adams, is president of the political wing of the now-defunct Irish Republican Army and is widely credited with playing an instrumental role in bringing peace.

But The New Yorker magazine this week published an article citing witnesses that suggested Adams authorised murders despite his long-standing denials of having been a commander of IRA paramilitaries.

Clinton was First Lady and her husband Bill was president of the United States when the Good Friday Agreement, generally seen as the end of the decades-long sectarian conflict, was signed in 1998.

"Hillary Rodham Clinton is one of the unsung heroes of the success of the Irish peace process," Niall O'Dowd, publisher of Irish America magazine, told The New York Times last month.

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