Adams comments on announcement of State visit of British Queen
Responding to the announcement that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has accepted an invitation from President McAleese to visit Ireland Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said:
“As a republican party, Sinn Féin is very aware of the symbolism of a state visit by queen Elizabeth of England and of the offence it will cause to many Irish citizens, particularly victims of British rule and those with legacy issues in this state and in the North. We are also very conscious of the attitude of our unionist neighbours.
“This announcement is obviously an indication that we are living in changed and changing times. Sinn Féin is in the leadership of this process of change. We are for the normalisation of relationships between the people of these islands, based upon mutual respect and equality. This will require the ending of the partition of Ireland and the ability of all the people of this island to shape our own society free from outside interference. The Good Friday Agreement provides for this and the process to achieve it is an ongoing focus for Sinn Féin.
“The President has invited the English monarch and Sinn Féin respects her right to do so. However we believe this visit is premature and we expect our views to be respected also.
“The Ard Comhairle of Sinn Féin is meeting on Saturday week. We will give a considered view after that meeting and as the details of the visit emerge.” ENDS