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Adams calls on queen to refrain from 'premature' state visit

SINN Fein President Gerry Adams yesterday spoke of the importance of Ireland's relationship with Britain, moments after calling on Queen Elizabeth not to visit the country.

Mr Adams, who recently resigned as a British member of parliament, insisted the likely historic state visit was "premature and too soon".

The Sinn Fein leader was speaking as he launched his campaign as an official candidate in the general election in Dundalk yesterday.

"I don't think the queen should come," he said.

"There are hugely unresolved matters in terms of the British still claiming (the North) even though in terms of the Good Friday Agreement they have moved away from the Government of Ireland Act, it has been done away with not least because of Sinn Fein diligence during those negotiations -- I think it's premature and too soon.

"When we have right across this island a dispensation based entirely upon the wishes of all of us who live here and no British jurisdiction at all, then that might be a better matter."

Despite his comments, Mr Adams said it was important to continue to foster good relationships.

"They are after all our closest offshore island," he said.

As other political parties yesterday outlined their approach to political reform, Mr Adams echoed calls for the Seanad to be abolished "in its present form".

"There needs to be a very very clear definition of the roles of each (house of the Oireachtas). The Seanad is undemocratic and a hand down to the old system . . . so they just replaced one ruling elite by another ruling elite."

Irish Independent