SINN FÉIN PRESIDENT Gerry Adams has appealed to the Taoiseach to respect his right, and the right of members of Sinn Féin, not to attend events being held during the Queen’s Visit.
Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon – during a Taoiseach’s Question on the sale of state assets – Adams rose to his feet in frustration at what he saw as underhand remarks being made by the Taoiseach.
“The Taoiseach has mentioned twice my non-attendance at events involving the Queen of England,” Adams said.
“And while I respect his right to attend, and the president’s right to invite the Queen of England, let me make it clear that I also have the right not to attend.
“While I represent a constituency from this State, I am from the North. Mayo is no longer under the control of the English crown. Where I come from, is – even in a conditional way under the dispensation that we have carved out.
“The Taoiseach needs to remember that there are people in the North… who are watching every single comma, every single dot, in the parlance.”
Adams added that he believed and hoped that good would come of the Queen’s visit, but appealed to Kenny to “respect my right as a democratic republican” not to attend such events.
Kenny did not immediately respond to Adams’ remarks.
Adams was speaking after the Queen laid a wreath at Islandbridge, at an event that was attended by senior figures from the Democratic Unionist Party, the SDLP, the Ulster Unionists and from the Alliance Party.
Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, declined his invitation on the part of Sinn Féin.