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Adams ‘would need persuasion’ to invite Queen to 1916 commemoration

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams

GERRY Adams would “have to be persuaded” that the Queen should be invited to Ireland’s Easter Rising centenary commemorations in 2016.

The Sinn Féin President, who recent polls forecast to be Ireland’s Tánaiste at the time of the Rising’s centenary, made the admission during an interview with The Irish Post last weekend.

Mr Adams said it “may be appropriate” for the Queen to be involved in the commemoration of events like World War I.

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But the republican leader remains unconvinced that the same applies to the anniversary of the declaration of the Irish Republic.

“That republic has not yet been established, it was a national republic” Mr Adams explained.

“What we have in place at the moment is a 26-county state, which falls far far short of being a real republic.

“So I would have to be persuaded that the English monarch should be invited to that.”

His comments follow the announcement by current Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore that British royals, politicians and unionist leaders will be invited to Dublin to mark the Easter Rising.

Ireland “will remain a divided society” without such a move, the Labour Party leader warned.

And Mr Gilmore may be able to see through his hopes if the Irish Government stretches the rules to the limit and holds the next general election on April 8, 2016.

Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in 2011
Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness in 2011

Despite the Rising’s actual centenary being in late April, it is expected to be commemorated on Easter Sunday, which falls on March 27 in 2016.

But Mr Adams’ comments suggest that opposition to the invitation of British royals could be used as a rallying call for his party ahead of the vote.

They follow a trend set by the Sinn Féin leader during the Queen’s historic visit to Ireland in 2011.

Despite the event receiving almost universal approval, Mr Adams criticised the monarch for making a “gross understatement” when she described Britain and Ireland’s past as “troubled”.

“Many people I have spoken to, particularly from the North (of Ireland), have expressed a disappointment that she did not apologise in a more direct and clear way for British involvement in Irish affairs,” he told the BBC.

While he acknowledged the Queen expressed “sincere” sympathy, Mr Adams added: “If there is to be more benefit out of this, it will be if it moves beyond these important gestures and remarks.”

Read the full exclusive interview with Gerry Adams in this week’s Irish Post – out now

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Niall O Sullivan
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Niall O’Sullivan is a reporter at The Irish Post. You can follow him on @Niall_IrishPost on Twitter

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